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South Cambridgeshire District Council appoint new chief executive

South Cambridgeshire District Council has appointed Liz Watts as its new chief executive.

Liz Watts Picture: South Cambridgeshire District Council (13409415)
Liz Watts Picture: South Cambridgeshire District Council (13409415)

The former chief executive Beverly Agas left the role in February.

The appointment of former East Herts Council chief executive Ms Watts was confirmed at an extraordinary council meeting this morning (Friday, July 4).

Ms Watts is expected to start her new role after the summer. The salary that she will be paid is £129,930.

Ms Watts said: "I am thrilled to be able to continue my passion for local government by joining South Cambridgeshire District Council. I met a number of councillors, colleagues and partners during the three-day recruitment process and already feel the strong sense of commitment and dedication to serving the communities of South Cambridgeshire. I'm privileged to be able to join the team."

The leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cllr Bridget Smith, said: "It has been a pleasure to meet Liz during the recruitment process, and we're thrilled that she will be joining us in South Cambridgeshire.

"She shares the values of our ambitious business plan and places a great deal of importance, like we do, on being green to our core.

"We feel we've found someone with the skills to develop strong relationships in a complex political environment to deliver the very best for our residents. Liz has excellent, varied experience and I know is eager to get on and bring about even better customer service and to help us realise our ambitions to be a truly exemplary Council.

"Local authorities across the country continue to face financial challenges and I'm confident that Liz will help us to deliver excellent value for money for our residents. I'm looking forward to Liz starting with us and getting out and about and meeting our wonderful communities across the district."

The appointment was unanimously recommended to the meeting by the authority's cross-party employment and staffing committee.

Ms Watts has an MBA, an MA in moral philosophy and logic and metaphysics, and is a fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants. Until May, Ms Watts was chair of the London Stansted Cambridge Corridor chief executives group.

A council release on her appointment said: "As the chief executive of East Herts Council – a position held for almost four years – Ms Watts transformed the authority's leadership team, putting it in a strong position to deliver on an ambitious four-year strategic plan put in place by councillors. Under her guidance, the East Herts leadership team was shortlisted by The Municipal Journal in their Senior Leadership Team of The Year category at the 2019 MJ Achievement Awards. She also changed the way new communities in East Herts are shaped by involving local people in the overall planning of large, strategic sites and has developed strong partnerships with neighbouring local authorities."

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