Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of the GMCA and TfGM wearing a white ribbon

Boylan became the GMCA's first CEO in 2017. Credit: via Coverdale Barclay

Boylan to retire next year 

GMCA and TfGM chief executive Eamonn Boylan will call time on a 42-year career in public office after the mayoral elections next May, sparking a hunt for his replacement. 

Boylan, who is 64, became the first chief executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority in 2017, leaving his position as head of paid service at Stockport Council to take the job. 

In 2019, he was appointed chief executive of Transport for Greater Manchester and recently took over as chair of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation following the death of Lord Bob Kerslake. 

“The last six-and-a-half years leading the combined authority, and four years leading Transport for Greater Manchester, have been the most challenging but also the most enjoyable in my career,” Boylan said. 

Notable events during his tenure include two recent successes; securing a trailblazer devolution deal for Greater Manchester, and bringing the city region’s buses under local control. 

He has also steered the city region through some difficult times, including the Manchester Arena terror attack, which led to reform in Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We have delivered on so many fronts,” he said. “The trailblazer deal is evidence that we remain at the forefront of the argument for devolution. 

“The sheer determination and tenacity that everyone demonstrated across Greater Manchester during the pandemic shows how much stronger we are when we work together with one voice.” 

Prior to joining the GMCA, Boylan had spent seven years as CEO at Stockport and two as deputy chief executive at Homes England. 

Between 1999 and 2008, he worked as Howard Bernstein’s second in command at Manchester City Council. 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said he was saddened by Boylan’s decision to retire. 

“This is a sad day for GMCA and TfGM and for me personally,” he said. 

“Eamonn has been a great support to me since I first took office in May 2017, and I have always appreciated his strong counsel over the years. He has got us through some of our most challenging times and also our positive times.” 

He added: “He should be extremely proud of his legacy in our city region and the difference his work has made to people’s lives. It is a testament to the man that he has committed his whole working life to public service, and he absolutely deserves to retire on his own terms on a high. We will miss him.” 

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Brilliant public servant. I hope Eamonn enjoys his retirement.

By Dave Proudlove

Eamonn will be a big loss to Greater Manchester – perhaps more than anyone realises. His calm, quiet working in the background is behind more of the big steps forward GM has made than we will probably ever know, and his lasting legacy from his previous roles is still being realised in both Stockport and Manchester.

By Tom Simpson

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