County council appoints interim chief executive

Lancashire County Council has appointed Angie Ridgwell as interim chief executive and director of resources.

The move means compulsory redundancy for previous chief executive Jo Turton and voluntary redundancy for director of governance Ian Young.

The Lancashire Evening Post reports that the selection was granted by the Full Council despite the vocal opposition of 30 county councillors and "vehement complaints that councillors had not been told how much the changes would cost."

In her most recent role, Angie Ridgwell has been director general, corporate services at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, since October 2016.

Prior to this she was director general for finance and corporate services at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Before joining central government, Angie was strategic director for corporate services and strategic director of organisational design for Bristol City Council and chief executive of Thurrock Council. She has had a career working with a range of local authorities, government agencies and the private sector.

Leader of the council, county councillor Geoff Driver, said: "We had an excellent field of candidates and it is testament to Angie's considerable range of knowledge and experience that the committee felt able to appoint her.

"This is a crucial time for the county council, as we face an unprecedented financial challenge. Our restructure of senior management recognises that challenge and required us to find an exceptional candidate, someone who not only has highly developed skills as a visionary leader, but also has the necessary professional finance qualifications and experience of managing the finances of a major organisation.

"Angie fulfils both of those criteria and I'm confident that she can lead us through the implementation of the restructure, and more importantly, play a key role as we plan a positive course through the challenges we face to enable the county council to continue providing key services to the people of Lancashire." Angie Ridgwell said: "I am under no illusions about the scale of the challenge ahead and I am sure that the county council's members and employees have the passion, commitment and expertise to rise to that challenge and continue to provide the services that the people of Lancashire value so much."