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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Cheshire Council Chief Executive set to transition for top role at Bradford Council

Lorraine O’Donnell, Chief Executive for Cheshire East Council, has been chosen as the preferred candidate to take on the role that will soon be vacated by Kersten England.

And if her appointment is approved at a Council meeting next Tuesday, Ms O’Donnell will start later this year with an annual salary of £205,000.

Chief Executive Kersten England announced in January that she would retire later this year, and a cross party panel has met several times to interview candidates and appoint her successor.

As well having the equivalent role in Cheshire East, Ms O’Donnell has worked at Darlington Council and Durham County Council.

She also has a doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, having been the first person from her family to attend university.

Her appointment will be recommended to full council on 11 July and, following council’s approval and standard background checks, a formal appointment will be made.

Kersten England is the top earner on Bradford Council, and her current salary is £199,472 per annum. At next week’s Full Council members will be told that Ms O’Donnell’s will be higher than this – £205,000 per annum.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “Lorraine has a wealth of experience in local government, having worked in a number of authorities in the north east before joining Cheshire East as chief executive in early 2020.

“She has been part of corporate management teams from 18 months into her career – helping Darlington become the highest performing authority in the country and Durham County Council become Council of the Year three years from its creation as one of the largest unitary councils in the country.”

Council Leader 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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