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Former civil servant Robert Pollock appointed as city council's new chief executive

Robert Pollock (43633036)
Robert Pollock (43633036)

A former senior civil servant who led some of the work on the Oxford-Cambridge Arc project has been named as the new chief executive of Cambridge City Council.

Robert Pollock’s appointment was approved on Thursday (December 17) at a meeting of the full council. He will take over from Andrew Grant who has been leading the council on an interim basis since October.

Mr Pollock is currently a director at Social Finance, a social enterprise that partners with governments, charities and the financial community to develop solutions to social and economic issues.

He previously held senior roles at the Treasury and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government where he led several strategic initiatives including public service transformation and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

He said: “It will be a privilege to serve the residents of Cambridge and work with councillors of all parties.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the amazing work of council staff, led by chief executive Andrew Grant and Antoinette Jackson before him, to keep services going during the pandemic, provide more than £24million in grants to business, find emergency accommodation for over 200 people sleeping rough and set up community led hubs to support vulnerable residents across the city.

“We’re all living through difficult and unprecedented times. Cambridge has a resilient economy, an active social sector and many world leading organisations that can support a quicker recovery.

“The council has a critical role to play too. Working with partners and local communities we need to help all residents thrive, enable more inclusive and sustainable growth to reduce inequality and our climate impacts, and deliver more affordable housing.

“I’m looking forward to working on this ambitious agenda and supporting the council to embrace new ways of working so we can live within tight financial constraints.”

Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of the council, said: “Robert brings the depth of skill, searing analysis and determination that our council needs to reshape its delivery and protect priority services for our residents and businesses, in the reduced financial position councils now face.”

Mr Pollock, who has also held leadership roles at the United Nations in New York and Westminster City Council, will take up the role in April.

Cllr Tim Bick, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group at the council, said: “We are ambitious for our city, for all those who depend on and contribute to it, and for the way it works with our many partners and neighbours. We welcome the useful experience and fresh thinking Robert brings and we very much look forward to working with him.”

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