Great Yarmouth Borough Council chief executive steps down from post due to serious illness

Jane Ratcliffe at the University Campus Suffolk (UCS) Great Yarmouth graduation ceremony at the Minster. Picture: James Bass Jane Ratcliffe at the University Campus Suffolk (UCS) Great Yarmouth graduation ceremony at the Minster. Picture: James Bass

Lucy Clapham
Friday, May 30, 2014
11:07 AM

Tributes are being paid to Jane Ratcliffe, the chief executive of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, who has had to step down due to serious illness.

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Mrs Ratcliffe, who was appointed in January 2013 after serving as deputy chief executive officer since 2006, has not been at work full-time since late November 2013, and is now unable to return to the post.

Councillors, officers and staff at GYB Services Ltd, were informed earlier this morning and have paid tributes recognising her commitment to the authority and the borough.

In a joint statement, council leader Trevor Wainwright and shadow leader Graham Plant, said: “We and all the councillors and staff would like to offer our greatest sympathies to Jane, and thank her for her unswerving commitment.

“Jane’s skills, experience, drive and constant strategic oversight have proved central to some of the biggest projects and achievements in the borough in the last 15 months, some of which have only recently come into full fruition.

“It has been a privilege to work alongside her – and her departure is a great loss to the council. But we know that Jane, as ever, has done what is right for the council and the wider borough by her decision this week.

“We wish her all the best for the future.”

During her tenure, Mrs Ratcliffe oversaw the award winning £3.8m refurbishment of St George’s Theatre, including the construction of the new Pavilion building and Plaza, and championed the emerging heritage strategy to promote heritage tourism in the borough.

She supported the successful refurbishment of the historic Town Hall for weddings and other private functions, and the project to convert the surplus former council offices, at Trafalgar House and the Old Fire Station, into affordable housing.

Mrs Ratcliffe oversaw initial work to build the first new council houses in the borough for 20 years and was also passionate about the expansion of the council’s neighbourhood development service.

She also worked hard to help secure £4.7m government funding to kick start work on the A12/A143 link road through Beacon Park, in Gorleston, whose expansion she also championed.

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