Sean Anstee, former leader of Trafford Council, has been appointed as executive director for advisory, public affairs and PR at Cratus Communications, and is tasked with launching a Manchester outpost of the London-headquartered firm.
“This is a hugely exciting time to be joining Cratus, and advancing opportunities to help clients in the North West navigate the public sector and embed excellent and productive relationships with key players across local government,” he told Place North West on Friday.
Anstee stood down this week after 12 years as a Conservative councillor representing the Bowdon, Dunham Massey and Warburton ward for Trafford Council.
In 2014, the 33-year-old was one of the youngest politicians to be appointed leader of a council, and also stood as the Tory party candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester in the 2017 election, coming second behind Labour’s Andy Burnham.
He was unseated as leader when the Conservatives lost control of Trafford in May 2018’s local elections, although he remained as a councillor.
That same year, the former banker joined Manchester-based internet services provider Telcom to head its infrastructure division, as the company embarked on a strategy to roll out fibre networks across UK cities.
Anstee takes up his new position on 16 March and will divide his time between the North West and London, supporting Cratus’ UK public affairs work while working to build a Manchester-based operation. He will remain on the board of Telcom in an advisory capacity.
He tweeted on Thursday:
— Sean Anstee (@seananstee) March 5, 2020
Nick Kilby, chief executive of Cratus Communications who founded the company in 2009, said: “I’ve wanted to come and set up in Manchester for several years but it had to be about, first, getting the right talent in post and, second, knowing that the economy and other issues would be in our favour.
“Clearly now, Sean is very much in the right place to take on this challenge, and the opportunities in the North, for the first time in decades, are genuinely looking very exciting. The timing made this a very easy decision to make.”