Croydon Council has promoted Hazel Simmonds to be the executive director in charge of its “Gateway, Strategy and Engagement division”, which apparently looks after the borough’s housing, strategy (yeah, they’ve got one apparently), policy development, communications, community relations and the council’s welfare service.
Simmonds will step up from her present job as the council’s interim director for council homes, districts and regeneration.
According to the council, Simmonds has more than a decade’s experience in senior roles in local government, from being deputy director for safer neighbourhoods and regeneration at Hackney Council to leading on policy, corporate affairs and environment at Colchester Borough Council.
“I am really pleased to lead this new directorate and drive the council’s agenda to improve services for local people,” Simmonds is supposed to have said, according to a council press release which was issued yesterday evening, and far too late for the weekly print deadlines of the borough’s two struggling local papers. With her new brief for communications, that might be something Simmonds will want to look into.
The council press release failed to state what salary grade Simmonds will be on, but executive directors tend to receive salaries of £150,000.
The council’s dynamic press team also issued a quote attributed to chief executive Jo “We’re Not Stupid” Negrini.
Negrini is supposed to have said: “This is an exciting time for the council as we embark on new ways of working, changing how we deliver our services. The new directorate will drive this important work and will be crucial in positioning the council for the future, repositioning our relationship with residents and localities, and putting residents at the very heart of everything we do.”
They even had some platitudes to be associated with Alison Butler, the Labour council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services.
These were: “More and more of this council’s focus is to help local communities sooner so we either lessen the impact of issues affecting residents’ lives or prevent them completely, and Hazel will be key to its future success.
“From overseeing housing need to improving community relations, Hazel has the expertise and drive to lead this important new directorate, and I wish her well in her new role.”
Which is nice.
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