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James Whiteman becomes new Managing Director from 1 June

Last night (8 February) the Council agreed to appoint James Whiteman, our current Deputy Managing Director and Director for Environment, to be Guildford Borough Council's new Managing Director and Head of Paid Service.

James Whiteman Banner

Our existing Managing Director, Sue Sturgeon, is retiring in May this year and James will take up his new post from 1 June.

This follows a comprehensive recruitment process, culminating in final interviews with four excellent candidates, and a unanimous recommendation to the Council by the Employment Committee.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council and Chairman of the Employment Committee, welcomed the decision and stated: "James Whiteman is an excellent choice. Given his extensive knowledge of our operational services along with his experience of all aspects of the Council as a member of the Corporate Management Team, most recently as Deputy Managing Director, he will be able to move seamlessly into his new role. James shares the same passion for our borough as myself and other councillors and I very much look forward to working with him."

Sue Sturgeon, Managing Director, added: "I am delighted that James Whiteman has been appointed as my successor. Having an in-depth knowledge of the borough and a passion for Guildford are essential requirements for this role. I wish him every success."

James Whiteman, Deputy Managing Director and Director for Environment, said: "I am very proud and honoured to be appointed to the post of Managing Director. I have lived in Guildford for nearly 30 years and have raised my family here. I love living in this area and have a great interest in its future, the people who also call our borough home and those who work, study or visit here.

"I have worked for the Council for over 27 years. First as a temporary member of staff taking refuse calls, then directly employed by the Council in 1989 as a cleansing inspector supervising the refuse and street cleansing crews. I became the Cleansing Manager in 2000, followed by Head of Operational Services in 2004. I progressed to Director of Environment in 2013 and now look forward to becoming Managing Director in 2017.

"Guildford Borough Council is a wonderful organisation to work for. My training and development over the years have been encouraged and supported. I have gained a huge amount of experience, along with an in-depth knowledge of our services, and fully understand the challenges facing the Council and our borough. I know we have excellent and committed staff who take pride in providing first-rate services. I look forward to working with them and our councillors on the wide range of projects and service improvements for the future."

By law, the Council must have an officer appointed as Head of Paid Service. They are responsible for preparing reports on the way the local authority's staff is organised, on the staffing needs and on the co-ordination of the way in which the authority's functions are discharged. Our Managing Director carries out this role, working closely with the Council Leader, Executive and senior Council officers.

The Council will now begin a recruitment process for a new Director of Environment. One of the Directors on the Council's Corporate Management Team will become the new Deputy Managing Director when James takes up his post.

We will update you further when future appointments are agreed.

Published on Thursday 9 February.