Lorraine ODonnell, Bradford Council, p Bradford Council

Lorraine O'Donnell has been the chief executive of Cheshire East Council since 2020. Credit: via Bradford Council

Cheshire East chief exec set for Bradford move

Lorraine O’Donnell has been chosen as the preferred candidate to replace Kersten England as chief executive in the Yorkshire city.

England announced in January that she would retire this year. O’Donnell’s appointment, recommended by a cross-party panel, will be recommended to Bradford’s full council on 11 July.

O’Donnell has a wealth of experience in local government, having worked in a number of authorities in the North East before joining Cheshire East Council as chief executive in early 2020.

Regarding the news of O’Donnell’s possible departure, a Cheshire East Council spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service:  “The appointment is subject to a decision of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, on July 11.  In the meantime, and following that decision, senior officers and members will be working to ensure appropriate management arrangements are in place.”

On Bradford Council’s part, Leader Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe said: “I am delighted that someone of Lorraine’s calibre has been identified as our preferred candidate.

“The chief executive of Bradford Council is one of the biggest jobs in local government. The chief executive plays a very significant role in contributing to the delivery of the council’s priorities.

“Lorraine is an experienced leader with an impressive track record of delivering improvements and will be a real asset to us as we work to continue to drive forward with our ambitions for the district.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Kersten England for agreeing to delay her retirement while we completed a thorough and competitive recruitment process. I know Lorraine will build on Kersten’s legacy and bring new energy and focus to the job in hand.”

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