Collaboration high on the agenda for county’s new executive director

Lancashire County Council has named Phil Green as its new executive director of growth, environment and transport.

With more than 25 years' experience in local government, Phil joined the authority in 2019 and takes over from Stephen Young, who recently joined Halton Council as chief executive.

In his time at Lancashire Phil has delivered on numerous strategic development projects including its £20bn investment pipeline.

He is also leading work in collaboration with partners around a County Deal and a longer-term plan to be known as ‘Lancashire 2050’, which will draw in other issues such as health, wellbeing and community-building.

Phil said: “This role is rightly described as one of most exciting jobs in local government, providing the opportunity to lead change and really make a difference to people's lives.”

He is described as a “strong believer in collaborative working” and says he has strived to reach out to council partners in Lancashire over the past three years, building on existing relationships and creating new ones.

This close partnership approach is encompassed by efforts to establish ‘Our New Deal for a Greater Lancashire’, the first phase of work that paves the way for a County Deal, part of the government's levelling up and devolution plans.

Announced in July 2021, County Deals aim to take devolution beyond the largest cities, transferring powers from Whitehall to local areas over things like transport, skills and economic support as well as nature recovery and business engagement.

To deliver this locally, all 15 council leaders in Lancashire have been working in close collaboration to develop a shared vision and key priorities.

Phil said: “Lancashire has huge ambitions, and the scale of opportunity is plain to see, with the county unified like never before. It’s a historic moment in Lancashire for all councils to come together and agree on such a significant issue.

“I want to build on that momentum, empowering more of our staff, teams and partners to embrace the approach and work together in a collaborative way, because that’s the only way we're going to deliver all the things that we want to deliver.”

Phil stressed that the people – and creating opportunities for their communities – must remain at the heart of everything the council does.

However, he adds that while creating job opportunities is a crucial element to the role, one aspect that often gets lost among the headline-grabbing multi-million-pound economic projects is the importance of weaving the council’s economic ambitions into all its departments and creating opportunities for everyone to benefit.

He said: “As well as creating jobs, we must make sure that all our residents, young and old, can benefit from the opportunities that are created, such as good transport and digital connectivity and the right skills and training to access work in exciting new and emerging employment sectors.

“The scale and diversity of Lancashire means there are different challenges and opportunities in different places, that’s why the whole levelling up agenda is so important.

“It’s vital we link in our strategic and economic plans with all our departments, such as health and adult social care and create the conditions to lever private sector investment. 

“Lancashire’s beautiful countryside offers residents a unique quality of life and provides untapped potential as we transition to net zero and tackle the negative impacts of climate change.

“It’s so much more than just an economic development job – that’s why I am so excited to help make a lasting positive impact on Lancashire.”

Angie Ridgwell, chief executive of Lancashire County Council, said: “I am really pleased to welcome Phil to our corporate management team. Phil has already contributed significantly to Lancashire since joining the council in 2019.

“The many positive partnerships he has foster, together with his strategic vision will continue to be a real asset for us as he steps up into his new role.”

Council leader Phillippa Williamson said: “We believe Phil’s values and passion for collaboration, with people and communities at the centre of everything we do, reflect the county council’s, and will stand us in good stead as we try to build a better future for all.”