NEED-TO-KNOW: Greater Manchester’s leadership changes

As Sir Howard Bernstein has now left the building, his responsibilities have been taken over by two full-time chief executives; Joanne Roney, chief executive of Manchester City Council, and Eamonn Boylan, chief executive of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The new roles will work as follows:

Chief executive of GMCA

  • Boylan becomes the first full-time chief executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which is made up the 10 local authorities. The role builds on Bernstein’s responsibilities as head of paid service for GMCA, which he held alongside his position as chief executive of Manchester City Council
  • Boylan was previously chief executive of Stockport Council. Laureen Donnan, deputy chief executive of Stockport Council, will take over as interim chief executive until a replacement is appointed. The position is being advertised but there is no timescale for a replacement being appointed
  • He has a strong background in housing, and was the housing, planning and investment portfolio lead officer for the GMCA, which included working on the creation of the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework
  • For now, Boylan will continue to lead on housing and planning for the GMCA, pending a review of the chief executive portfolios
  • When the new Mayor is elected on 4 May, they will become the eleventh voice around the table of the GMCA. The chief executive will need to work closely with the Mayor, and both will be based in Churchgate House on Oxford Road
  • In the next couple of months the GMCA remit will expand to include additional functions, such as the Greater Manchester Fire Authority, the police and crime commissioner’s office, and research arms New Economy and the Greater Manchester Integrated Support Team

Chief executive of Manchester City Council

  • Today is the first day in office for new Manchester City Council chief executive Joanne Roney, moving over from her role as chief executive of Wakefield Council
  • Priorities for Roney as she takes over will be steering Greater Manchester’s takeover of a £6bn health and social care budget, alongside new transport powers such as bus franchising as part of the devolution deal
  • Housing is likely to take precedence for both chief executives. Like Boylan, Roney’s CV is dominated by work in the sector, having held housing-related positions at Birmingham, Kirklees, and Sheffield councils. Both have even previously had the same job; Roney took over from Boylan as director of housing at Sheffield City Council in 1999

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