New managing director of Norfolk County Council is confirmed

Dr Wendy Thomson Dr Wendy Thomson

Monday, March 24, 2014
4:25 PM

A former adviser to Tony Blair has been appointed as the new boss of Norfolk County Council.

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Dr Wendy Thomson, who is currently a director at McGill University in Canada, will take over as the council’s managing director in August.

Her appointment was approved unanimously by councillors at a meeting of the full county council this morning.

Following the decision, council leader George Nobbs called Dr Thomson to pass on his congratulations and welcome her to her new role in Norfolk.

Dr Thomson, 60, has local government experience from posts in the London boroughs of Newham and Islington, has worked for the Audit Commission and the charity Turning Point.

She was also a founding director of the Office of Public Service Reform – a post in which she advised then-prime minister Tony Blair on civil and public service reform, and for which she was made a CBE.

After her nomination last week, Dr Thomson said: “I am looking forward to joining Norfolk County Council and helping the organisation realise local people’s priorities: excellence in education, real jobs and a modern infrastructure to support business development.

“These are tough times for local government but I am up for the challenge and pleased to be returning to England to live in this beautiful county.”

Dr Thomson has had a varied career on both sides of the Atlantic, with executive posts in Canada and then London. She returned to Canada in 2005 to lead the School of Social Work at McGill, taking up a wide range of advisory roles specialising in social policy, health and social services.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, she obtained a masters of social work at McGill University before moving to England to secure a PhD in social administration at the University of Bristol in England.

26 comments

  • Well said Peter Watson. But will she cut the mustard? Let's hope so.

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    ron cornell

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Anyone know her address-I'll write and tell her.

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    maryjane

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • £180,000 PA eh? Anyone know how this compares with what the past and incumbent interim managers arewere making?

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    theanchovy

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • @ B Ungatory....yet another issue Comrade Thomson will have to deal with....

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    Scooby

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • @Del Boy...that is almost too inviting...I think the comments are not against Madame Comrade herself, more about the appointment, how it was made, and who drove this appointment...I don't doubt her credentials, just wonder if she has been appointed without knowing all the facts and issues....

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    Scooby

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • When David White left we were told that it was because there was a need to recruit someone with business and commercial experience, something David White admitted he did not have. That is why we were told that instead of a CEO NCC would be recruiting an MD, an appointment which would also have a lower salary. It would seem now that we have a third option that of a political entrant, obviously very labour biased from her background, That in itself does not altogether worry me however, once again the goalposts have been moved without informing the electorate and it would seem now that we have neither fish nor fowl. Perhaps a new title could be added to the appointments board?

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    maryjane

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Watson I agree with you, have you come to your senses at last?

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    Sweet cheeks

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Dr Thompson now has the opportunity to reorganise senior management at Norfolk County Council which ought to be able to cut costs by 50%.Time for a few people at the top to be emptying their desks.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Let's hope she sorts out the mess in County Hall rather than just becoming another officer's puppet.

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    Honest John

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • It is slightly odd that the EDP did not think that it was sufficently newsworthy to report that her agreed remuneration package is £180k plus pension contributions. What happened to Eric Pickles' directive that no local authority officers should be paid more than the Prime Minister?

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    Nemesis

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Mr Watson what a wise old leftie you are.

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    PaulH

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • @maryjane.....wendy.thomson@mcgill.ca......fill your boots

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    Scooby

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • Should we not be calling Dr Thomson by her correct title. The earlier EDP story said she was a Professor at McGill University. Once a Professor, always a Professor. Ought we refer to her as Professor Thomson? Good luck to her in her new post - she faces many challenges.

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    Old Hand

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • I wonder if she knows what she has let herself in for? Dodgy leadership, dodgy economic policy, dodgy contracts, dodgy governance, inaccurate finances, misinformation, a vacant airfield, impotent council.......should I go on....? Can't believe that pillar of integrity and righteousness who is our glorious leader, G Nobbs, has told her the real story.....

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    Scooby

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Looking through her biop its a wonder she has got enough time left in her day to do a proper job. I hope our councillors have made sure she is employed full time on sorting the council out and she is not t one of these part timers doing a two or three day week.

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    BG

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • We have to be careful what we say regarding this as all critical comments made last week were eliminated. To cut to the quick this is an appalling appointment.

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    Steely Dan

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • How long before Sister Wendy finds out she’ll have no control at NCC while Mc.Neill remains there pro.tecting her chums? If she goes we’ll know the new MD means business, until then nothing will change at County Hall.

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    Honest John

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • I suppose good will for the beginner is in order. Many of us here in Norfolk yearn for a stiff broom cleaning up the mess within NCC. Dogs on strings, for all to see on utube, contracts openly visible when they should be safely locked away, employment practises that do not pass the muster, speculative ventures without a business plan and a festering lack of democracy visavis voters. Dr. Thomson has some stern tasks ahead of her. I wish her good luck with it.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Norfolk jobs for Norfolk workers ?

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    Steely Dan

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • All the usual nasty little remarks are here along with the usual nasty people that write them. Just read some of them. This blog seems to attract the losers and jealous ones that seem to abound in Norfolk. Sad and pathetic. Why can none of you ever make a pleasant and welcoming comment about anyone ?

    Report this comment

    John Fisher

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Should we not be calling Dr Thomson by her correct title. The earlier EDP story said she was a Professor at McGill University. Once a Professor, always a Professor. Ought we refer to her as Professor Thomson? Good luck to her in her new post - she faces many challenges.

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    Old Hand

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Another jealous comment from the king of the losers. Stands out a mile. And the next one please...........

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    Del Boy

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • Both those councils she worked for were considered Loony Lefties, and still are.I've heard she's getting around £25k moving costs plus car as a golden hello.Looking at her age she's got around 2 years or less to get on the big golden bye bye handshake pots of cash.

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    Do you know I'm not a councillor

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • She's been chosen by the panel of group leaders and ratified by the whole council. She's got a job on her hands - hope she starts with a workable proposal to merge departments in the district and county councils. There's plenty of scope to improve efficiency and reduce costs, without hitting services

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    Jack1956

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • She's got a month of goodwill then it will no doubt be open season on another specimen from the closed society of Council officers who are paid far too much to sit there in a secret huddle ruining our lives using our money. The fact she is being paid vast sums of money should be an indicator of what is to come.

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    alecto

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • John Fisher who obviously believes the world is full of pretty unicorns and fluffy puppies criticises the comments here. Have been through them again and I think they are pretty sound. Norfolk has been let down time and time and time again by assorted idiot Councillors with the odd MP thrown in every so often. You should be asking why people just cut to the chase.

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    alecto

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

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