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Council set to appoint new Chief Executive

News release 9794, published on 07 Oct 2020
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is set to appoint Russell O’Keefe as its new Chief Executive at a meeting next week.

Russell was chosen by the HR Committee following a rigorous selection process, that involved councillors, staff and people from partner organisations, to find a replacement for Melbourne Barrett, after he was appointed as Chief Executive at Nottingham City Council.

Russell’s appointment is subject to approval at the Council meeting next Thursday (15 October).

Russell has been in his current role as Executive Director of Place and Deputy Managing Director at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead since 2016. During this time, he was also Acting Managing Director for an interim period, assuming overall leadership of the council and working closely with councillors and external partners.

His previous roles at Norwich City Council included Executive Head - Strategy, People and Neighbourhoods and Head of Strategy and Programme Management. While in his last role at Norwich Russell had a dual role as Interim Director at Great Yarmouth Borough Council with a primary focus to drive forward organisational improvement.

Council Leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan said: “This is an important appointment that will have a pivotal role in the future of the council and delivering our aspirational plans for the borough. A rigorous and detailed selection process has been undertaken to identify candidates of the high calibre and exemplary ability needed for this role.

“Russell was chosen by the councillors on the HR Committee as the right person to lead our dedicated and hard-working officer team, continuing to improve our good value services, delivering a sustainable post-COVID recovery for our communities and rising to the challenge of our ambitious climate emergency targets.”

Subject to Council approval next week, it is hoped that Russell will join the borough council early in the new year. Until that time Executive Director of Borough Development and Deputy Chief Executive Ian Boll will continue in the Interim Chief Executive role.

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