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New chief executive appointed by borough council

News release 9805, published on 16 Oct 2020
Russell O’Keefe has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
 Russell’s appointment was approved at the Council meeting tonight (Thursday 15 October).This followed a recommendation from the HR Committee after 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 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.

Russell said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be appointed as the Chief Executive of Basingstoke and Deane Council. I’m really looking forward to joining the council and working closely with the Leader, councillors, staff and partner organisations to continue to support communities through the impacts of COVID-19, deliver the very best services for residents and businesses and ensure the borough continues to thrive in the future."

Council Leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan said: “This is a key appointment for the council at a time when we continue to fight COVID and support our communities and our economy through uncertain and challenging times. We have high aspirations for the borough’s future to continue to make this a great place to live and work and have set ourselves challenging climate emergency targets. Russell will lead the officer team in delivering on those as well as continuing to provide good value services to our residents and support for our communities and businesses every day.”

It is hoped that Russell will join the borough council in January. 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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