Cumbria County Council – New Chief Executive

by David Murray on 19 November 2009

in Lake District NP, Northern England, Organisations

Jill Stannard, who has for some time been acting chief executive of Cumbria County Council was today confirmed in the post. I congratulate her and wish her well in the post.

It may seem strange to some people that a blog written by someone who does not live in the county, and which is mostly concerned with the attractions of the Lake District countryside, should bother itself about who runs the local government bureaucracy.

Well firstly, it needs to be recognised how much of what happens in the county is influenced by the County Council. For example, the roads on which both residents and visitors travel around are its responsibility. I also recently wrote about the importance of the county archives to local and family historians with an interest in the human heritage of Cumbria. And these are only two of the multitudinous activities for which it is responsible.

My second reason for mentioning it is more personal. In thirty years as a management consultant I can say without a shred of exaggeration that the most enjoyable years were those in the mid-80s when I worked for around half of my time in Cumbria, much of it in close association with three men who were or were to become the county’s first three chief executives, Roland Whitfield, John Ford and John Burnet.

Plus, I have a special bond with the county, not only from that period but also from the fact that although remaining a proud Lancastrian from having been born on the Furness Peninsula well before the 1974 county reorganisation I deeply appreciate my “dual nationality” as a “Lancastrian Cumbrian” descended from a long line of Westmorland farmers.

So, Jill Stannard, I wish you well as you face up to leading the county administration into a challenging future.

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