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Chief executive of council steps down

The chief executive of Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils has taken redundancy ahead of the creation of the new Buckinghamshire County Council.

Bob Smith will leave his post on Saturday, August 31, as preparations for the new unitary authority continue ahead of an April 2020 launch.

Following his departure, Mr Smith’s duties as chief executive will be carried out by Jim Burness, director of resources, and Steve Bambrick, director of services, while Joanna Swift, head of legal and democratic services, will become the council’s returning officer and electoral registration officer.

Mr Smith said: “It has been both a privilege and a pleasure to have been able to work alongside such dedicated and talented staff with the support of councillors of both councils.

“With the appointment of the new chief executive for Buckinghamshire Council [Rachael Shimmin] I feel now is an appropriate time for me to step aside.

“I do so confident in the knowledge that my colleagues will continue to provide the residents of Chiltern and South Bucks with excellent services for the remaining months of the existing councils and also be in a good position to take their fantastic work into the new Buckinghamshire Council from next April onwards.”

Cllr Nick Naylor, leader of South Buckinghamshire District Council (SBDC) said: “We will miss Bob hugely, as he has been instrumental in transforming the Councils and bringing together the combined officer teams for both Chiltern and South Bucks.

“He has supported members and officers, provided strong leadership and support to the Councils, raised service performance and focused on putting our residents first.”

Cllr Isobel Darby, leader of Chiltern District Council said: “It has been an honour to work with Bob, firstly in his role as Director of Services and latterly as Chief Executive.  He has been a real asset to both councils and, whilst he leaves them in excellent shape, I know he will be missed by councillors and officers in equal measure.”

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