Suffolk County Council’s Deborah Cadman heading to West Midlands for new chief executive role

Deborah Cadman. Photo: Suffolk County Council

Deborah Cadman. Photo: Suffolk County Council - Credit: Archant

Suffolk County Council's chief executive is leaving her post for a new role in the West Midlands.

Deborah Cadman, OBE, will become the first permanent chief executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and is set to play a key role in turning the region's devolution deal with central government into reality.

Mrs Cadman, who joined Suffolk County Council (SCC) in 2011, oversaw dramatic improvements in education attainment levels in the county while leading the implementation of savings of over £200m, made necessary due to reductions in funding from government.

The chief executive, from Birmingham, said she was 'delighted' to return to her hometown and work alongside the newly elected mayor Andy Street.

She said: 'This is such a fabulous moment in time for the West Midlands and is an irresistible opportunity.

'I will find it incredibly hard to say goodbye to Suffolk though. It's a wonderful place, with fantastic people. The politicians, staff and partners I have worked with in the last six years have shown me the extraordinary level of talent and commitment we have right here in the county.

'Naturally, there is still more hard work ahead for Suffolk County Council, but the team is in good shape and ready for that challenge.'

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Colin Noble, leader of the SCC, praised Mrs Cadman as a 'real asset for Suffolk'.

He added: 'Whilst I recognise this is an exciting new opportunity, like many other I will be incredibly sad to see her leave.

'The impact Deborah has made can not be underestimated. Educational attainment levels in Suffolk are now significantly higher, with 86pc of schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Over £200m of essential budget savings have been delivered and staff morale is much higher.

'We wish her the very best in her new role, of which we're confident she'll make a huge success.'

A council spokesman said an exact date for Mrs Cadman's departure is undecided but is expected to be in around three months time.

The recruitment process will begin immediately, with the aim of having a permanent new chief executive in place as soon as possible.

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