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Eleanor Kelly in line to be Southwark Council’s new chief executive

London SE1 website team

Eleanor Kelly, currently acting chief executive of Southwark Council, is likely to be appointed to the position on a permanent basis at next month's council assembly meeting.

Eleanor Kelly
Eleanor Kelly

Ms Kelly, previously deputy chief executive and the council's lead officer on major projects including the Elephant & Castle regeneration, was appointed as acting chief executive in February following the departure of Annie Shepperd.

News that the council's appointments committee will be recommending Ms Kelly's appointment to council assembly comes as the authority completes a restructuring of the most senior posts at its Tooley Street headquarters.

"On behalf of the appointments committee I would like to say how delighted we are to be recommending to council assembly that Eleanor Kelly becomes our permanent chief executive," said council leader Peter John, who chaired last week's meeting.

"She has a huge amount of experience within the most senior roles of a local authority, including six years at Southwark where she has personally led on very complex regeneration projects that meet the Council's aspirations and achieved a good deal for the people of Southwark.

"She clearly demonstrated to the appointment committee members that she has the expertise, skills and attributes necessary to guide the council through some turbulent but exciting times."

As part of the shake-up, the deputy chief executive post is abolished and the number of senior officers has been cut.

The council's new monitoring officer, a statutory post, will be Doreen Forrester-Brown, head of legal services.

She takes over the responsibility from Deborah Collins, the strategic director of communities, law and governance, who – in an unusual move for a council's top lawyer – has recently become strategic director of environment and leisure.

Cllr Peter John said: "The appointments committee is confident that Doreen Forrester-Brown will be an excellent monitoring officer.

"She has made an effective contribution to Southwark since she joined and has been responsible for a significant improvement to legal services, in addition to being well versed in all the constitutional and legal issues she needs to understand."

• The new appointments are subject to approval by a meeting of the full council to be held at Southwark College's Bermondsey campus on Wednesday 4 July.

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