Lincolnshire County Council appoints new chief executive

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Lincolnshire County Council has appointed Debbie Barnes as its new chief executive.

County councillors confirmed the appointment at a full council meeting on Wednesday, December 11.

Mrs Barnes, who was interim head of paid service at the council, will take up the position as of January 1, 2020.

Council leader Martin Hill said Mrs Barnes was the “outstanding candidate” and that he was “very supportive” of the appointment.

The authority has been without a chief executive since the departure of Keith Ireland in November 2018.

Mr Ireland stepped down after a ‘mutual decision’, Councillor Hill said at the time.

Mrs Barnes will take up the position and retain the role of statutory director of children’s services (DCS) until an appointment is made.

Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Councillor Hill said he looked forward to working with the council’s new chief executive.

“It was always the intention to address the situation of chief executive,” he said.

“It was quite clear that Debbie Barnes was the outstanding candidate and I can only say that I am very supportive of this appointment.”

Councillor Rob Parker, Labour leader of the opposition, said he “looked forward” to working with Mrs Barnes in the future.

Lincolnshire County Council sign outside head offices on Newland, Lincoln.

The authority approved a timescale and process to recruit a new chief executive in October 2019.

Advertisements were placed in The Guardian, The Times, Jobs Go Public and Total Jobs and the authority received a total of 21 applications for the post.

A final shortlist of three candidates was drawn up and Mrs Barnes was unanimously selected as the preferred candidate by the council’s Appointments Committee last week.

She follows in the footsteps of the first female chief executive for the county council, Jill Barrow, who held office from 1995-98.

She will be one of three female Chief Executive Officers in Lincolnshire, with the others being Angela Andrews at the City of Lincoln Council and Anna Graves at South Holland District Council.

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