Flintshire County Council’s new chief executive Neal Cockerton takes up post at County Hall today
Neal Cockerton, the new chief executive of Flintshire County Council, takes up his post at County Hall today, Monday, November 1.
Mr Cockerton was appointed in August this year, taking over from outgoing chief executive Colin Everett.
Colin Everett announced his intention to leave his role at the start of this year after four decades of working in local government.
He steps away from the role after 14 years at the helm of the council.
Mr Everett joined the authority back in 2007 having previously worked for five other councils and two national organisations.
In a social media post on Sunday, Mr Everett said it would be a “strange feeling that tomorrow will be a Monday like no other for me.”
“I will wake up without the world of work to face – having stood down at Flintshire following 40 years of public service.”
“I will sorely miss the place and my colleagues. Now for the next chapter.”
During a full council meeting held at Theatr Clwyd in Mold last month, Mr Everett said, “Neal and I share very similar values.”
“In Neal, you have a very loyal, committed, determined new chief executive with an exemplary work ethic, it’s hard to find people with a work ethic like Neal’s.”
Neal Cockerton joined the council in 2003, he has held a number of senior positions covering a wide range of front line services and for the past three years has led the Council’s Housing and Assets Portfolio.
Speaking during the same full council meeting in October, he said: “Flintshire is a great place to work and the people in the county council are great to work with.”
“There’s great camaraderie, a closeness, a real genuine feeling of wanting to do the best for our local communities.”
“Over the coming months we’ve got a number of challenges, they’re no different really to some challenges that we faced historically.
“We’ve got a budget setting process that we’re in at the moment, It’s likely to be equally as challenging as previous years.”
“Having said that Flintshire has been really good at managing its budgets so let’s take confidence from that position.”
Mr Cockerton said: “We’ve got a local election coming up in May (2022) that will define our ambition and our direction in some areas that we’ve already set and may re-emphasise some of that direction.”
“We’re in a period of recovery, we’ve gone through a process during Covid that was a response and very reactive.”
“The recovery phase is the phase that we’re in at the moment which is trying to create some stability.”
“It’s a longer-term process over a number of years, it won’t be able to be done quickly and as we know Covid has not gone, it is still with us.”
He said the council has been “tested really hard” during the pandemic and “I think what we need to do is reflect on where we are in terms of the numbers of staff, and in certain areas, rebuild from that capacity and rebuild some of that resilience.”
“It is incredibly important for services like public protection, who’ve been really stretched thinly (during the pandemic) so I’d like to see us move into the area of capacity building.”
“It’s not going to be a quick fix, It’s not going to take a short period of time, but there are certain pressures within the current teams that need to be addressed and need to be addressed really quick.”
“I’m really looking forward to this new role, It’s really important that I say first of all a big thank you for the work we have done together to date.”
“This is not a new journey, It’s building on a journey that we’ve been on for a long time.”
“I need to make sure that we maintain our position of high standards within the organisation, we need to continue to be ambitious, and build on the good work that we’ve done for many years.”
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