Rochdale Council approved on Wednesday evening the appointment of Steve Rumbelow, currently chief executive of Burnley Council, as its new chief executive.
Rumbelow has been chief executive of Burnley Council since July 2006. He was previously a strategic director of Manchester City Council, with responsibility for housing strategy and regeneration. He has worked in local government for 30 years.
He replaces Linda Fisher, who was appointed acting chief executive of Rochdale Council in June 2014. Last month Fisher announced she would be leaving Rochdale to take up a legal directorship role at Wigan Council. Fisher held the interim role after Rochdale's last chief executive, Jim Taylor, left to become chief executive of Salford. Taylor replaced Salford Council's former chief executive Barbara Spicer, who is now chief executive of housing organisation Plus Dane Group.
Cllr Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Council, said: "It is a major coup for Rochdale to secure the appointment of Steve Rumbelow. He is one of the country's most successful and dynamic chief executives. He has a wealth of experience in other chief executive and leading local government posts in the North West. Rochdale's priority is bringing new businesses and jobs to the borough and Steve is recognised as one of the most experienced regeneration experts in the region. He has led the transformation of Burnley which was recently named as the Most Enterprising Place in the UK.
"Steve's talents will help make Rochdale more business friendly and attract new investment and employment to the area. He will be focusing on delivering our major regeneration projects that will help secure greater prosperity and growth for the future. He will be a great asset to the council at a time when we have to substantially reduce costs, eliminate waste and drive up service standards. We are really lucky to have landed one of the brightest stars in local government."
Rumbelow said: "I'm very much looking forward to working in Rochdale. Of course, I've been looking hard at the current challenges and issues ahead for the Council and all our partner organisations. But what I've really been struck by is the commitment of councillors, officers and people right across the borough to do the best for residents, and develop new opportunities and prospects.
"Rochdale is well known for its pioneering spirit and I am really pleased to have been appointed to this role, and to be able to work alongside so many committed people to take the borough forward over the coming years."