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Cambridge City Council chief executive Antoinette Jackson to step down

The chief executive of Cambridge City Council Antoinette Jackson will step down at the end of June.

Election count on the way in the Guidhall in Cambridge, Antoinette Jackson Chief Executive of Cambridge City Council. Picture: Keith Heppell. (27184616)
Election count on the way in the Guidhall in Cambridge, Antoinette Jackson Chief Executive of Cambridge City Council. Picture: Keith Heppell. (27184616)

Ms Jackson was the first woman to be appointed chief executive of the council when she took up the post in June 2009.

During her time she worked with both Liberal Democrat and Labour administrations.

Ms Jackson said: “Over the last ten and a half years I have been extremely proud to have led Cambridge City Council as its chief executive. This council is full of wonderful people – both officers and members – who are passionate about what they do. It has been a real privilege to work alongside them.

“Having done the job for all that time, I have decided that now is the right time for me to move on. I want to try new things, explore new opportunities and move my career in a different direction.

“Stepping away in June means I can see the council safely through the May elections and the Annual Council Meeting. Letting everyone know now, well in advance, also means that plans can be put in place for my successor to be recruited.”

Under her leadership the city council has transformed the way it does business to protect services to residents, while responding to significant government funding cuts.

Ms Jackson has championed the council’s approach to equality, ensuring that celebrating diversity is at the heart of the way itl does business.

She has worked with partner organisations to secure significant investment in the city, including the £500m City Deal for Greater Cambridge and the Devolution Deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, which included £70m specifically for investment in council housing for Cambridge.

In 2014, she led the negotiations to bring Stage 3 of the Tour De France to Cambridge at no cost to local taxpayers.

Antoinette Jackson at Reach Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell
Antoinette Jackson at Reach Fair. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of the council, said: “City councillors and staff were very sorry to hear that Antoinette has decided to step down in June because she means so much to us, after serving our city with distinction for over 20 years, including over a decade as our Chief Executive, leading major improvements to the council and our city.

“Antoinette is held in high esteem by us all and by people she has built partnerships and friendships with across the city and way beyond.

“It is typical of her strong principles that she has given the council nearly six months’ notice of her plans and we will work closely with Antoinette and our whole team to ensure the council develops its plans for beyond June and builds on her legacy.”

Cllr Tim Bick, leader of the Liberal Democrat group and former leader of the council, said: “Antoinette’s decision came as a surprise to me, but it’s one that I can definitely respect after over 10 years in a very demanding role.

“She has supported both Liberal Democrat and Labour administrations of the council with balance and fairness.

“When I was council leader her role was key in helping to deliver the groundbreaking £500m City Deal for Greater Cambridge, a negotiation of great complexity on many fronts.

“The whole council - and indirectly the city - will miss her steady, common sense advice, her insights and her ability to reflect the big picture."

Before taking up the position of chief executive, Ms Jackson had previously been director of democratic and customer services and head of strategy and partnerships at the council.

The recruitment process will now begin to identify and appoint a successor.

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