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Norfolk County Council’s £183,000-a-year managing director Dr Wendy Thomson to quit for new job

PUBLISHED: 15:33 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:56 29 October 2018

Dr Wendy Thomson is leaving her role as managing director of Norfolk County Council
 Photo: Archant

Dr Wendy Thomson is leaving her role as managing director of Norfolk County Council Photo: Archant

The managing director of Norfolk County Council has announced she is quitting her role at County Hall.

Dr Wendy Thomson will leave the council to become the vice-chancellor of the University of London, from July next year.

Dr Thomson, who took the top job at the council in 2014, said: “I have enjoyed working for Norfolk County Council and I am proud to be the county’s first woman chief executive.

“Together we have achieved a great deal over the last four years - children’s services improvements, tackling loneliness, promoting the independence of vulnerable adults and managing the challenging financial context.

“We have a talented leadership and staff team who can be relied on to take the council forward.”

Andrew Proctor, leader of the Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council, said he wanted to thank Dr Thompson for her leadership of the council.

He said: “I want to thank Wendy for her positive leadership of the county council. She has attracted a highly able top team of national standing and led many improvements in our services such as infrastructure, as well as ensuring we continue to grow our commercial services.

“She has set a firm base for the council to continue to improve. I wish her every success at the University of London.”

Dr Thomson, whose salary last year was £183,600, joined the county council from McGill University in Canada, where she led the School of Social Work.

She had previously served as chief executive of the Newham and deputy chief executive in Islington, both in London.

She was also a former chief advisor of prime minister Tony Blair and led the Office of Public Service Reform in the Cabinet Office. She was made a CBE for her work there.

Dr Thomson succeeds Professor Sir Adam Smith at the University of London, who has moved to become director of The Alan Turing Institute.

Sir Richard Dearlove, the chair of the appointments panel at the University of London, said: “I was pleased that the post attracted a very strong field of candidates and that we have been able to make an excellent appointment.

“The selection committee were especially impressed by Wendy’s wide leadership experience, her outstanding performance in a number of very challenging roles and her inclusive management style.

“I know that the Board of Trustees very much look forward to working closely with her.”

It is not yet clear when Dr Thomson, who has a three-month notice period, will leave County Hall or when her replacement will be recruited.

The council is awaiting a peer review from councillors and officers from other councils to visit to assess its performance, ahead of the authority moving back to a cabinet, rather than committee, form of leadership.

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