Council appoints new interim Chief Executive

Will Tuckley has been appointed as our new interim Chief Executive. 

Councillors unanimously agreed to appoint Will to lead the council for the next six months or more until a new permanent chief executive is found. 

The decision was taken at tonight's Full Council meeting (Thursday 30 March), which was attended by councillors from all the city's political groups. 

Vast experience as a Chief Executive

Will brings vast experience to the council after having spent 15 years as a Chief Executive at the London boroughs of Bexley and Tower Hamlets. 

He is also the longest serving Chief Executive in the capital. 

Will said: "I'm delighted and extremely proud to be appointed to this very important role, and I'd like to thank the councillors and everyone involved for giving me the opportunity to lead this fantastic city. 

"The job is interim until a permanent appointment, but I'm not here to just keep the wheels turning.

'A great deal to do' 

"There's a great deal to do, including the budget, new councillors after the election, the Kingsway to the Sea development and many other projects and initiatives, so I'm very much looking forward to working closely with council staff and other organisations." 

Will starts with the council on Tuesday 2 May after the Bank Holiday and in the run up to the local elections two days later.  

Will added: "As a Chief Executive, I have a track record for delivering strong and visible leadership and direction, as well as encouraging and enabling managers to motivate and inspire their teams. I want to continue this at Brighton & Hove. 

'Trust, confidence and lasting partnerships'

"I also always aim to build trust and confidence in those I work with while developing strong and lasting partnerships both internally and externally."  

Will began his extensive career in local government in 1983 in policy and research for the Greater London Council, Association of London Authorities, and the Association of London Government before rising to be the Deputy Chief Executive at Croydon Council. 

He was Chief Executive of Bexley Council from 2008 to 2015 before joining Tower Hamlets Council as Chief Executive in 2015 until this month. 

Other roles in the public sector have included London Councils Chief Executive adviser on Health; Board member of London Marathon Events Ltd; Joint-Chair London Health Partnership Board, Chair of the London Serious Youth Violence Board and Group Board Vice-Chair of the Amicus Horizon Housing Group. 

Will is married to Donna, a textile designer and shop owner, and they have three children. Their youngest daughter is currently studying in Brighton.

'Will's direction and vision will be invaluable'  

The council's current Chief Executive Geoff Raw said: "Will's appointment is great news for the council and the city, and we're delighted to be bringing in someone of such high calibre and vast experience to the council.

"Will's leadership, direction and vision will be invaluable as the council goes through a significant period of change and until we appoint a permanent chief executive. 

"Will and I will be working together to ensure there's clear leadership and a smooth handover ahead of the local elections." 

Geoff leaves on Friday 5 May to start a new role as managing director of ‘Be First’ (Be First London), a new homes and jobs development company at Barking and Dagenham council.

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: "I am delighted that in Will Tuckley we have found an interim chief executive with such a wealth of experience, who is committed to leading the organisation through the next election and until a permanent new arrangement is found.  

"I know that Will’s rich experience from the London Boroughs of Bexley and Tower Hamlets will enable him to hit the ground running. 

“I also want to thank Geoff Raw the council’s departing chief executive, who has supported councillors across all parties through some extremely challenging times, not least through the pandemic and into recovery. We wish him all the best.” 

Co-leaders of the Labour group Carmen Appich and John Allcock, said: ‘We are pleased to have moved swiftly to secure the services of an interim Chief Executive with such a wealth of experience, and are confident that his appointment will be a positive thing for the city council and the residents it serves.  

"This will hopefully provide stability to the new administration after the election and the opportunity for everyone to settle in prior to the recruitment of a new permanent CEO.  

"We would also like to thank Geoff Raw for his long and dedicated service to our city.” 

Conservative councillor Dee Simson said: "The Conservatives are very pleased we have such a high calibre candidate to replace our existing Chief Executive who will be missed very much."

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