Meet the new woman at the helm of Hartlepool council as new leadership team announced
A new senior leadership team for Hartlepool Borough Council has been announced.
Earlier this year, Gill Alexander confirmed she was retiring following five-years as Chief Executive, however this was delayed following the outbreak of Covid-19.
A meeting of Full Council has now agreed a leadership restructure and approved the appointment of Denise McGuckin as the council’s Managing Director, with the Chief Executive post being removed.
Mrs McGuckin will also take up the roles of Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer for elections.
Discussion and debate on the restructure took place behind closed doors at the meeting before it resumed for public viewing and the decision was announced.
Mrs McGuckin is currently the Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods on the council, and the leadership changes are estimated to offer the council an annual recurring saving of £56,000.
She started working at the organisation as a Special Projects Officer in 1996 before becoming Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods in 2012, and will take up her new role from September 7.
Mrs McGuckin said: “I am honoured to take up the new position of Managing Director at Hartlepool Borough Council and I’m really looking forward to working with all staff and elected members to ensure we continue to deliver excellent services to people across the borough.
“I’d also like to place on record my thanks to Gill for her leadership over the past five years and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build on her excellent work.”
During her time as council Chief Executive Ms Alexander oversaw major investment into the regeneration of Seaton Carew, Church Street and Church Square.
She recently helped secure over £55million to invest in Hartlepool which will deliver new leisure facilities, a film and TV studio and improved cultural venues.
She has also been playing a leading role in the emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic both in Hartlepool and the North East, and has paid tribute to those she has worked with.
Ms Alexander said: “Hartlepool is a remarkable borough with a great team working across council services.
“The past few months have been extraordinary and challenging as we have had to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as a country and a Borough.
“I have been incredibly proud of and thankful for the way council staff, our elected members, our communities and partners have collaborated to protect the vulnerable, stop the spread of the virus and keep our community running.
“We entered the pandemic from a position of strength and I know that, although we face difficult times ahead, by continuing to collaborate the council can help shape an exciting future for the Borough of Hartlepool.
“I’m confident Denise McGuckin will maintain this momentum and do a fantastic job driving forward one of the smallest and most efficient leadership arrangements in the region.”
She added it had been a ‘huge privilege and honour’ to serve as the council’s Chief Executive.
The new senior leadership team will also see three current council officers have reshaped roles and responsibilities.
Tony Hanson, the council’s current Assistant Director for Neighbourhood Services, will take on a wider strategic leadership role and become Director of Neighbourhoods and Regulatory Services.
Kieran Bostock will become the Assistant Director for Place Management with responsibility for environmental services, building design and construction, and highways and transport.
Meanwhile Sylvia Pinkney will become the Assistant Director for Regulatory Services with responsibility for community safety and enforcement, public protection and emergency planning.