REALLY PROUD: New chief executive announced
Pam Smith, incoming chief executive of Newcastle City Council, Image: Newcastle City Council
Newcastle City Council has named its new chief executive.
Pam Smith is set to take over the top civic centre job from the departing Pat Ritchie, it has been confirmed.
Mrs Smith joins from Stockport Council in Greater Manchester, where she has served as chief executive since 2017, subject to her appointment being approved by councillors this week.
The new boss said she was “really proud to have been given this opportunity to work in a council with a great track record in a fantastic city”.
She added: “Newcastle is a city with an incredibly rich history, a proud community and enormous potential, and I can’t wait to get started.
“I’m excited to be a part of Newcastle’s future and I’m looking forward to helping the city build back strongly from the pandemic so it can look ahead with optimism. I want to work with colleagues, residents, businesses and partners to provide opportunities for people of all generations, and create a city that is safe and welcoming with a clean, green environment.”
Her appointment is set to be formally ratified at a full council meeting on Wednesday night.
The local authority confirmed that Mrs Smith will take home an annual salary of between £172,753 and £188,948 in the council’s top-paying job.
She previously served as chief executive of Burnley Council and worked for HR consultants AdviserPlus, as well as being responsible for the climate change, ageing, and equalities agendas at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
City council leader Nick Forbes said that Mrs Smith had a “clear passion for Newcastle” and would help deliver plans to make the city carbon neutral by 2030.
The Labour leader added: “Pam will be joining us at a challenging but exciting time for Newcastle and the North East. As well as leading us forward in our recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic, she fully understands how critical our plans to reach Net Zero carbon emissions are to our economic future.
“She has a strong track record of partnership working, including leading on the Green Economy within Greater Manchester, and this knowledge will be essential as we move into the next phase of our work in tackling the climate emergency.
“In addition, I would once again like to express my sincerest gratitude to Pat Ritchie during her final days at Newcastle City Council.
“She has served with enormous integrity and resolve since her appointment in 2013, and she can be confident she leaves both the city and the council in a stronger place than when she started. I know Pam will build on Pat’s legacy, building on her achievements and bringing new focus to the job in hand.”
Ms Ritchie announced this summer that she would be stepping down from her post at the city council, having been in charge for eight and a half years.
She had planned to leave the job last year, but stayed on to guide the city through the struggles of the Covid pandemic.
The Scot is due to leave the civic centre next Friday, October 15, though her full-time replacement is not expected to take over until January.
Words: Daniel Holland, Local Democracy Reporter
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