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Council Approves New Managing Director Appointment

Published on: 9 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 10 Feb, 2017

James Whiteman

Last night (February 8) Guildford Borough Council (GBC) approved the recommendation to appoint James Whiteman, the current deputy managing director and director for environment, to be GBC’s new managing director and head of paid service.

Mr Whiteman, who has worked his way up the ranks of the council, is said to have fought off stiff competition from other able candidates, including one existing council chief executive, before receiving a unanimous recommendation from the employment committee.

The existing managing director, Sue Sturgeon, is retiring in May this year and James Whiteman will take up his new post from June 1.

Cllr Paul Spooner

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 MD, 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 commented: “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.”

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 Whiteman takes up his post.

His additional appointment as head of paid service fulfills a legal requirement of the council. This person is 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. At GBC the managing director carries out this role, working closely with the council leader, the Executive and senior council officers.

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Responses to Council Approves New Managing Director Appointment

  1. Zoe Franklin Reply

    February 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Excellent news. I wish James all the best for the new role.

    Zoe Franklin is a former borough councillor and the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford.

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