Liverpool names new chief executive

Liverpool City Council has appointed Ged Fitzgerald from Lancashire County Council as its new chief executive.

The forty nine year old was recruited following an interview last Thursday 28 October and will take up his post on Monday 7 February 2011.

Fitzgerald's new role is subject to formal council approval on Wednesday 10 November and contract details being finalised. He takes over from Colin Hilton who retired from the authority in May this year.

Fitzgerald said: "I'm delighted to be offered the post of chief executive of one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in the world. This post is one of the top jobs in local government and I can't wait to get started. Liverpool is a city like no other, with a rich and wonderful history – and a fantastic future.

"Liverpool's transformation over the past decade has been nothing short of breathtaking and Liverpool has shown every other major city that it is possible to shake off years of decline and stagnation and to reinvent yourself as a modern, enterprising and vibrant place.

"A lot has been achieved, but I truly believe Liverpool's best days lie ahead. Despite the tough economic times, it's vital we continue to change and improve. One of my first tasks is to work with all members of the council and city council staff to ensure the resources we have available are directed at front-line services, and we continue to support those who need the lifeline of our services most. We must continue to improve and adapt our services so that we meet today's needs of our residents. And we must continue to build even stronger links with business and enterprise to attract the investment and new jobs so vital to our future prosperity.

"I know Liverpool well, having worked for the city council some 15 years ago. A lot has changed since then, but one thing remains constant. It's the friendliness, wit, inventiveness and get-up-and-go of Liverpool people. They our greatest asset, and I look forward to serving all the residents of the city."

Fitzgerald worked for Liverpool City Council between 1996 and 1998 as head of economic development and European affairs and then as director of city challenge.

Following his time at Liverpool, he was appointed deputy chief executive at Calderdale Council in 1998 and in 2001 took over as chief executive of Rotherham Council. He went on to become chief executive of Sunderland City Council in 2004, before moving to Lancashire County Council as chief executive in June 2008.

Cllr Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "Appointing Ged Fitzgerald is a real coup for Liverpool. He is one of the most successful chief executives in local government. He brings a depth of experience and expertise at a time when the city needs it most.

"Local government is facing huge challenges, not least from the huge public expenditure cuts announced just last week. Ged has a proven track record in delivering high-quality public services in the most efficient way possible. His experience in economic development will help us beat the worst effects of the downturn.

"I have said Liverpool must attract new jobs and businesses to the city to guarantee our future success. I look forward to working alongside Ged to create one of the most business-friendly cities in the UK."

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