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Breckland Council appoints new chief executive

PUBLISHED: 08:26 28 February 2014 | UPDATED: 08:26 28 February 2014

New Breckland Council Chief Exec Anna Graves. Picture: Matthew Usher.

New Breckland Council Chief Exec Anna Graves. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2014

Council tax rates in Breckland have remained among the lowest in the country - but the district council’s in-coming chief executive has warned the authority faces increasing financial challenges.

Breckland District Council was hailed as “extraordinary” by members as they agreed to freeze council tax for a Band D property at £69.03 for the forthcoming financial year and the following year - a move which means Breckland continues to have the lowest council tax rates for district councils in England.

Members also agreed to pass on the £305,000 Council Tax Support Grant to town and parish councils.

During today’s full council meeting, Anna Graves was also formally appointed as the new chief executive of Breckland Council in a joint appointment with South Holland District Council

The current chief executive of Harborough District Council, in Leicestershire, is due to start her new role on April 21.

She replaces Geoff Rivers who has filled the role for five months after Trevor Holden’s departure in October and will stand down on Monday.

Mrs Graves, 49, who lives in Norwich, said she was drawn to the role because of the challenges it offers in terms of the two authorities’ shared management structure.

On a personal level, it also means the mother-of-two, who has lived in Norfolk for 28 years, will be able to wave goodbye to her 130-mile commute to Harborough.

The former Norwich City Council strategic director for regeneration and development said: “It’s a great opportunity, Breckland is very innovative, particularly with its commercial approach to property and sweating its assets. It’s still a council delivering public services to the community and in protecting those services, Breckland has got some big challenges on the way.”

After Mr Rivers’ departure on Monday, Terry Huggins will temporarily take on the role of head of paid service until Mrs Graves is in post.

Do you have a local government story? Email public affairs correspondent Dan Grimmer at dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk.

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