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New Chief Exec for Surrey County Council

Published on: 5 Apr, 2024
Updated on: 7 Apr, 2024

Terence Herbert

Surrey County Council has appointed a new chief executive.

Terence Herbert, currently chief executive at Wiltshire Council, was chosen “after a robust recruitment process to find a replacement for Joanna Killian”, says a council spokesperson.

Subject to formal ratification at an extraordinary full council meeting on April 9, Mr Herbert is expected to take over his new role in the summer.

Tim Oliver – Leader of Surrey County Council

Leader of Surrey County Council Tim Oliver said: “Terence is an outstanding leader bringing over 25 years of local government experience to the role, and it is excellent news that he will be joining us.

“Under his leadership, Wiltshire is regarded as a strong local authority – one of the largest unitary authorities in the country – with sound finances and a high-performing workforce.

“I am certain that he will be a tremendous asset to Surrey and is the right person to lead us as we face the challenges ahead.”

Cllr Oliver made a failed attempt to create one unitary authority for the whole of Surrey in 2020 when the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, refused to back the proposal provoking a reaction from the council leader which revealed his frustration.

Borough councils and many Conservative councillors were also against the idea.

See: SCC Leader’s Bid For One Unitary Authority Torpedoed By Shock Government U-Turn

But Mr Herbert made no reference to the unitary authority issue. He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the chief executive of Surrey County Council. I’m looking forward to working with the leader, members, staff and our partners to build on Surrey’s significant track record and lead the organisation through the next stage of its transformation in what continues to be a challenging time for local government.

“Having spent much of my earlier career in children’s services and mental health, I am passionate about delivering quality services for the most vulnerable residents across our communities. I know the importance of retaining a motivated and ambitious workforce with a focus on celebrating the success of our staff, so this is an area that will be a key priority for me.”

Joining Wiltshire Council in 2011, Mr Herbert was appointed chief executive in June 2020. Prior to this he held a number of senior leadership roles including head of service for Safeguarding, associate director for Children’s Services, executive director for Children & Families, Leisure & Communities, Corporate Services and HR & Organisational Development, and chief executive officer for People.

He began his career as a registered mental nurse (RMN) and then qualified as a social worker, taking up posts in children’s services at the London Borough of Lewisham, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and North Somerset Council.

See also: Beware of the Call for a County Based Unitary Authority

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