KEXIT: Lincolnshire County Council chief leaves after just four months

Lincolnshire County Council’s Chief Executive officer has stepped down after just over four months in the role.

Keith Ireland only joined the authority in July from his previous role as managing director at City of Wolverhampton Council.

In a joint statement to staff, Keith Ireland and Leader of the Council Martin Hill OBE said: “We are writing to let you know that Keith is leaving the council.

“Over the last few months, it has become clear that we do not share the same approach to a number of important issues that are facing the council, and, in these circumstances, we are agreed that a parting of the ways is the best way forward for both of us.

“Whilst unfortunately things have not worked out, we are united in wishing each other the very best for the future.”

Councillor Hill added “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Keith for his work and the energy he has brought to it. I wish him every success for the future.”

When Mr Ireland was announced in May, chiefs praised his experience in local government and specialises in using private sector business models to transform the performance of local government services.

His position came with a £170,000 salary, though his predecessor Tony McArdle, who had been in the chair for 12 years, had earned more than £206,000 per year.

He inherited a council with a number of issues, including a Serco contract beset by problems, a potential black-hole of £180 million in funding in three years’ time and preparations for Brexit.

In his time in the seat Mr Ireland has previously spoken about how devolved powers could bring decision making closer to local people, and declared that his “neck is on the line” over the extension of the Serco contract.