New chief executive named by Lancashire County Council

Image caption, Phil Halsall was chief executive at South Ribble Borough Council

The new chief executive of Lancashire County Council has been announced.

Phil Halsall is to take over the role in 2011, subject to council approval, in a move to save more than £500,000.

He will replace current chief executive, Ged Fitzgerald, when he leaves to take up the same post at Liverpool City Council.

Mr Halsall's current role of executive director of resources and deputy chief executive is to be scrapped to cut costs.

Mr Halsall, who has worked at the Conservative controlled Lancashire County Council (LCC) since 2009 said he was honoured to take up the role.

"As chief executive I'll be striving to ensure we remain among the best while adapting effectively to the challenging financial climate," he said.

"I'm looking forward to working with the members and staff to make a positive difference to the lives of people across Lancashire," he added.

The 52-year-old was chief executive at South Ribble Council before departing to become executive director of resources in 2000 at Liverpool City Council.

'Highly experienced'

LCC leader Geoff Driver is delighted with the appointment of Mr Halsall who he described as "the strongest possible successor" to Mr Fitzgerald.

"Phil is a highly experienced manager and leader who is already at the heart of our efforts to maintain high quality front line services while delivering the savings required by Government," he said.

"He will provide us with the continuity of leadership and considerable financial acumen needed to steer us through this difficult period while shaping a bright future for Lancashire."

He added: "The decision to redeploy him to the role of chief executive gives us certainty about the future at a crucial time in the county council's history."

The decision was made by the Special Appointments Committee, which is made up of Cabinet members and the leaders of the two main opposition groups on the county council.

The appointment is subject to the agreement of the full council at a meeting on 16 December.

LCC is the largest local authority in the north west and the fourth largest in the country, serving 1,165,000 residents with an overall budget of £1.8bn and 42,000 employees.

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