St Helens Council make senior officer appointments

St Helens Council have appointed a deputy chief executive and an interim assistant chief executive
St Helens Council have appointed a deputy chief executive and an interim assistant chief executive
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St Helens Council has strengthened its team of senior officers by appointing a deputy chief executive and an interim assistant chief executive.


Paul Sanderson, the local authority’s strategic director of place services, will take on the position of deputy chief executive.

The role has been vacant since last May following the retirement of Ian Roberts.

Mr Sanderson will take up the position with immediate effect and will hold the position in addition to his present role.

The move to bolster the team led by chief executive Mike Palin follows a peer review earlier this year by the Local Government Association, the council has confirmed.

The other appointment has seen Keith Ireland installed as an interim assistant chief executive.

Mr Ireland was appointed as chief executive of Lincolnshire County Council last year but he left the post after a brief period in charge.

However, he was recently awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list for his services to local government in relation to his work at City of Wolverhampton Council, where he was managing director from 2014 until 2018.

A council spokesman said: “The appointment of Keith Ireland to the position will provide additional capacity to the organisation, as it looks to modernise the way it works.

“Keith is highly experienced in local government and was formerly chief executive at the City of Wolverhampton Council.”

Mr Ireland left his City of Wolverhampton Council role to become chief executive of Lincolnshire County Council in July 2018. However, his time at the county council ended in November after just four months.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reported at the time how a joint statement had been released to staff by Mr Ireland and Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill, which read:

“Over the last few months, it has become clear that we do not share the same approach to a number of important issues that are facing the council, and, in these circumstances, we are agreed that a parting of the ways is the best way forward for both of us.

“Whilst unfortunately things have not worked out, we are united in wishing each other the very best for the future.”