Council finance chief Simpson’s promotion is confirmed

Richard Simpson, formerly the council’s finance director, has been promoted to the role of executive director of resources, it was confirmed today.

Richard Simpson: promoted at Fisher's Folly

Richard Simpson: promoted at Fisher’s Folly

Simpson’s move into one of the six-figure salary roles at Fisher’s Folly is part of the on-going reshuffle following the departure of chief executive Nathan Elvery, the retirement of Paul Greenhalgh, who was the “executive director People”, and the appointment of Jo Negrini as CEO.

His promotion makes Simpson effectively the second-in-command to Negrini among council staff, and on £150,000 per year.

Given his 10 years deep within the council’s finance department, Elvery’s former fiefdom, Simpson will have intimate knowledge of where the bodies are buried – figuratively speaking, at least – over past administrations’ dalliances with such ill-fated projects as CCURV in the partnership with John Laing, the real reasons for the council offices costing £100 million more than equivalent buildings, or how Tory leader Mike Fisher managed to award himself a secret pay rise without anyone noticing.

Simpson will also know the real cost of the multi-million-pound deal to flog off the Taberner House site, after it has stood empty for three years, might be to the council’s long-term finances.

Simpson has been filling in in his new role for six months. He has previously been Croydon’s assistant chief executive for corporate resources. He has made regular appearances at Town Hall meetings as a calm official figure, in control of his brief, as he has tried to guide elected councillors through the sometimes Byzantine borough finances during following the global recession and austerity cuts.

Simpson, 42, joined Croydon’s finance department in 2006, from Lambeth. Today, he was quoted as saying that he believes that Croydon Council has a “record of strong financial management while also delivering excellent services for local taxpayers”. Which is perhaps not something all Council Tax-payers or other, more neutral, observers will necessarily recognise.

Tony Newman, Labour’s council leader, today described Simpson as “a great guy”.

“I’d like to congratulate Richard – he’s a great guy, a strong leader and a trusted pair of hands,” Newman said.

“He has a proven track record of delivering for Croydon and our residents, who can have confidence that this council has a strong handle on its finances.”

Simpson is the latest internal promotion for a senior exec job within Croydon Council, following Elvery’s and Negrini’s appointments.

“This was a unanimous, cross-party decision by the appointments committee,” Newman said. “Richard’s experience and background make him the best person to ensure Croydon’s continued future financial stability and success.”

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