The main boss of Newcastle City Council will step down later this year, it has been revealed.
Pat Ritchie has announced that she will be stepping down as chief executive officer of the board after eight and a half years.
The 62-year-old said she planned to quit the £ 189,000-a-year Civic Center post last year and stayed to help Newcastle get through the Covid-19 pandemic, but now ” cannot commit to “long-term long-term mission of being the spearhead of the city’s economic recovery.
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It has now been confirmed that she will step down in the fall, and the search for her successor is now expected to begin.
Ms Ritchie, who received a CBE in the most recent New Year’s list of honors, said: “It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to have led the board alongside leader Nick Forbes.
“It’s a great, vibrant, diverse and inclusive city, full of wonderful and proud people. The way he came together during the pandemic shone through what has been an incredibly difficult time.
“It was not an easy decision to quit the job which I love and which has occupied a large part of my life for over eight years. However, I think now is the right time to step down, both for me personally and for the city.
“I have supported the city and led the council during the pandemic, but now I think the time has come to appoint a new CEO who can work with the chief and the cabinet to support the city’s economic and social recovery. It’s a five to ten year task and one that I cannot commit to at this point in my career.
Ms Ritchie became the city’s first female CEO when she joined in 2013, after Barry Rowland left.
His time at the Civic Center involved overseeing huge austerity cuts of over £ 300million and numerous job losses.
She was instrumental in founding the North of Tyne Combined Authority, where she was the organization’s first head of paid services after a £ 600million devolution deal was struck with the government.
Ms Ritchie’s tenure also saw the council embark on major regeneration projects such as the transformation of the former Scottish Brewery and Newcastle into a Helix site and the £ 45million renovation of the Civic Center itself, while the city has also hosted major events like the Rugby World Cup.
She led the council through the city’s Operation Sanctuary sexual exploitation scandal and said the past 18 months of the devastating impact of the pandemic crisis had been “the most difficult of my career” .
His salary has also been the subject of controversy over the years, with his salary increasing by more than £ 40,000 since 2016.
A highly regarded figure, Ms. Ritchie was previously Executive Director of the Homes and Communities Agency and Deputy Executive Director of the One North East Regional Development Agency.
She has also been president of the State Real Estate Agency since January 2020, a position she will retain after leaving her post on the board.
Ms. Ritchie added, “It has been an absolute privilege to serve the people of this brilliant city. I leave the Council in a strong position to meet the challenges of the future, with a highly effective management team and talented staff committed to doing their best for the city.
“The past 18 months have been the toughest of my career, but I know I played my part in leading the city through this extraordinary time, keeping people safe, supporting businesses and ensuring that may the Council continue to function and support the people of Newcastle. .
“Having lived and worked in Newcastle and the North East for most of my career, I hope I can continue to defend and support the city and region as I take on new challenges and opportunities.”
City Council Chief Nick Forbes said Ms Ritchie had been “inspiring” and “played an important role in raising the profile of the city”.
He added: “When she first told me about her intention to leave last year, we agreed to delay any announcements until we got through the worst of the pandemic – something that she did it with great skill and judgment under the most difficult circumstances. .
“I am extremely sad to see her go. I will miss his wise advice, his professionalism, his dynamism, his passion and his innovation.
“She has played an important role in improving the visibility of the city, especially in the corridors of power, and despite many years of austerity, she leaves the council in a strong position. On behalf of the council and the city as a whole, I want to thank Pat for the excellent job she has done and wish her well for the future.
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This notice was published: 2021-06-29 10:30:00