Herts County Council boss announces his retirement

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:11 23 May 2018

John Wood, chief executive of Herts County Council, has announced that he plans to retire. Picture: supplied by Herts County Council

John Wood, chief executive of Herts County Council, has announced that he plans to retire. Picture: supplied by Herts County Council

supplied by Herts County Council

The chief executive of Hertfordshire County Council has announced his retirement.

John Wood, who has held the post since 2012, announced today that he will be retiring from his role by the end of March 2019.

A committee will be formed in June to recruit a new boss by Autumn so that there can be a handover period.

He said that the timing of his decision was partly to allow a new chief to know the ropes of the council and the challenges it faces in good time for the next election.

John has steered the council through times of organisational change and austerity.

Since joining the county council in 1991, he held various roles across the organisation including principal engineer for transport policy, head of forward planning, assistant director of strategy and director of environment, until he was appointed chief executive.

He said: “It has been an absolute privilege to serve what I regard as the best county council in the country and during my time at Hertfordshire I have worked with some great officers and members.

“I am as happy and motivated today as I have ever been and with almost a year to go until I depart, I am determined to continue to deliver for the authority and the residents of Hertfordshire to the best of my abilities.”

Leader of the council, David Williams said: “I have valued his support hugely.

“We have forged an excellent working relationship as we are taking forward the Council’s agenda.

“I am also grateful for the notice period that John has given us.

“This will enable us to ensure a smooth transition.

“It also means that we will be able to make full use of John’s experience as we progress a Local Government Association Peer Review in the Autumn that we jointly initiated.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group at the county council, Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, said: “I’ve known John Wood since I became a councillor in 2001 and he has always been very supportive of all councillors, including those within the opposition.

“John has worked very hard for the county both as director of environment and as chief executive and his retirement will be a loss to the county council as clearly he has had Hertfordshire’s best interests at heart.

“John will be a hard act to follow, but I am pleased that enough time has been allowed to find a suitable person to take on the new role.

Leader of the Labour group at the county council, Councillor Judi Billing, said:

“I was personally very sad to hear of John’s retirement although of course it is richly deserved and I wish him the very best for the future.

“He has been a magnificent chief executive who has shown me enormous support, kindness and wisdom since I became a county councillor.”

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