An NHS and council boss responsible for overseeing the health of Norfolk’s population has resigned, citing personal reasons for her decision.

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Jenny Harries, director of public health, could no longer sustain the toll being placed on her by living away from her family, who are based in Wales, according to an email sent by Norfolk County Council’s chief executive. She is set to leave her post in January.

Dr Harries has worked in hospitals and health care in the UK, Kenya, India and New Zealand and took on the role of local director of public health in Monmouthshire, in south east Wales. Dr Harries then became joint director of health in Swindon before she was appointed to her role in Norfolk in 2010 by the county council and NHS Norfolk.

David White, Norfolk County Council chief executive, sent an email to colleagues confirming the news. Mr White, in a similarly-worded statement released to the EDP, said: “Sadly, Dr Jenny Harries, director of public health, has tendered her resignation from the authority and will leave at the end of January. Jenny has taken this step for personal reasons; Jenny’s family remain in Wales and for a number of reasons it has not been possible to relocate to Norfolk; this has exerted a toll which is no longer sustainable.

“On behalf of the authority, I wish Jenny well. And I will now take the necessary steps to recruit Jenny’s replacement.”

Earlier this year, council officials claimed there was nothing untoward about an “informal” meeting Dr Harries requested to discuss concerns about the proposed King’s Lynn incinerator.

Dr Harries was shown to have asked for a meeting with the county council’s head of communications, Joanna Hannam, to discuss “public and political concerns” about the controversial project, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

The meeting happened in July 2011, shortly before NHS Norfolk wrote to inform the county council it “broadly supported” the incinerator.

A county council statement released after the news emerged stated: “This was an entirely appropriate part of her wider preparation for the necessary independent examination of the NHS aspects of the proposal.

“She subsequently engaged key NHS colleagues to prepare the subsequent NHS Norfolk response, including local GPs.”

The statement said the meeting was also attended by Mike Jackson, Norfolk’s lead director for waste and recycling.

The county council’s planning committee voted in favour of the incinerator proposal in June this year, despite strong opposition to the proposal. The authority’s decision was called in by communities secretary Eric Pickles in August.

A public inquiry examining the proposal is due to take place next February.

16 comments

  • This is valuable evidence for the planning inspector that NCC had put pressure on Dr Harries. I suspect the few county councillors in west Norfolk that kept a low profile while the incinerator procurement was on but guided parish councils to support. It will be interesting what feeble excuses they use at next County Elections. The perfect solution all round would be for NCC to hold their hands up and admit there was never any consensus for incinerators in Norfolk. Concentrate on recycling. The problem in May for all Conservatives friend or foe in West Norfolk is the public will have to show the planning inspector and Erick Pickles they are serious about no incinerator.

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    Choice

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

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    John L Norton

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • This is valuable evidence for the planning inspector that NCC had put pressure on Dr Harries. I suspect the few county councillors in west Norfolk that kept a low profile while the incinerator procurement was on but guided parish councils to support. It will be interesting what feeble excuses they use at next County Elections. The perfect solution all round would be for NCC to hold their hands up and admit there was never any consensus for incinerators in Norfolk. Concentrate on recycling. The problem in May for all Conservatives friend or foe in West Norfolk is the public will have to show the planning inspector and Erick Pickles they are serious about no incinerator.

    Report this comment

    Choice

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • As she has jacked it in for reasons of her own benefit and convenience can David White, Norfolk County Council chief executive , confirm she will not be receiving a large tax payer funded pay off ?

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Family reasons! Did this supposedly highly intelligent woman not realise when she applied for the lucrative post of Director of Public Health for Norfolk that either her family would have to relocate OR she would have to spend a great deal of her time appart from them? Wonder if she was parachuted in JUST to deal with the incinerator, I will have to research but I seem to remember Michael Ryan mentioning her involvement with another application in the West of the Country.

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Why does the public sector in Norfolk keep on employing people who never intend living in the county. How any one can do their job properly with their family homes so far out of the county is beyond me.

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    BG

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • I trust she will be called back for February.

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    alecto

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • I trust Dr Harries' successor will launch an urgent review of the incinerator matter in time for the inquiry in February. NHS Norfolk should inform the inquiry inspector that such a review is possible at the pre-inquiry meeeting at 10.00am on Wednesday 28th November at Lynnsport in King's Lynn. All welcome!

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    Barking

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Could David White, Norfolk County Council chief executive, confirm that has she has jacked it in for her own convenience she will not be getting or be entitled to a fat cheque from the tax payer ?

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Oopsy daisy! You've got on the wrong side of Joy of King's Lynn. Shouldn't have done that. Now you have to be very afraid. She can extract a file full of damaging facts out of the back of a stamp. I am in awe!

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    alecto

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • I do hope this won't mean Dr. Harries is not able or required to answer questions at the Public Inquiry into the King's Lynn Incinerator. That would certainly look suspect...

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    Sandy.L

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Thanks for cutting and running after trying to foist an incinerator on us all Jenny. What a disgrace you are.

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    Fenscape 2

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Should she be required at the inquiry and the inspector calls her to give evidence of her initial fears that led to her asking for a meeting, then she will have to appear.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Hey Larson nice to hear from you. It must be a world record. You gone one article without insulting anyone or making inflamitory accusations.

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    Z:)

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • This is NCC's transparency at its very best, so much so that those in West Norfolk can see straight through this pathetic excuse. Choice, NCC didn't have to put pressure on her, she was more than willing to sell out, and what a surprise, now it's looking like the NHS are covering up for her too. Her turn up at the Planning Inquiry, she'd be ripped to shreds and she knows it. You can run Dr Harries but you can't hide, you don't do what you have done to the people of West Norfolk and walk away from it,

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • NCC have a lot to answer for. They use people for their own agenda, Jenny Harries if you had done your own research you would see that Wheelabrator was fined $7.5 million just last year for contamination to land, water and air. Is it a case of that human health is not that important. How can a stinking waste incinerator be safe with mercury, cadmium, lead and amongst hundreds of other furans and dioxins being exposed to humans night and day. We want our children to grow up in a safe environment waste incineration is not the answer it is outdated and will cost a staggering amount of money. Our children deserve better treatment than this, 65.516 people said No. Conservatives have dug their own grave with this one. We will not forget this at election time.

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    Jack

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

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