Chief executive to leave Northumberland County Council

Steve Mason
Steve Mason
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Northumberland County Council’s chief executive Steve Mason has ‘decided to leave the council and pursue fresh challenges’.

The news follows yesterday’s first meeting of the local authority since the May 4 election which saw the Conservatives form the new administration under leader Peter Jackson.

Mr Mason has been with the council for nearly 15 years, working in a number of financial roles, and has been chief executive for the past three years.

“It is with sadness that I have decided to leave the council after nearly 15 years’ service to the residents of Northumberland,” he said.

“During my time, the council has faced many challenges, most notably local government reorganisation and the impact of cuts in local government funding over an extended period of time.

“The council’s approach and direction will change significantly following the recent county council election and it is an appropriate time for new managerial leadership at a time when the political leadership has changed with a radically different agenda.”

Coun Jackson thanked Steven for leaving a strong and stable organisation which would give the new administration time to agree new priorities.

The current deputy chief executive, Daljit Lally, will be the interim chief executive. Following the formation of the new administration yesterday, it has been agreed Mr Mason can leave immediately to allow a smooth transition to a new chief executive.

Mr Mason broke the news to staff this afternoon via his chief executive’s briefing email.

Under the heading, Time to pursue fresh challenges, he said: ‘It is with a great sense of pride and a touch of sadness I write my last briefing as chief executive.

‘After nearly 15 years with the council and over three years as chief executive, I have decided to leave the council and pursue fresh challenges.

‘I have been immensely proud to have led this authority and I would like to thank every one of you for your support, professionalism and guidance during my time as chief executive.

‘An organisation is only as good as the staff who work in it and I feel privileged to work with so many people who are proud of our county and have worked tirelessly to ensure Northumberland remains such a wonderful place to live, work and visit.

‘There have been many highlights during my time here. Among those that stand out are the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta, the 2015 Tour of Britain stages and the pride I felt in our response to the flooding during winter 2015 which demonstrated how well we cope in a crisis.

‘Internally, the first Staff Excellence Awards last year were a great success, highlighting the superb work taking place across the organisation. I am confident this year’s awards will be equally as successful.

‘Over the last five years, the council has taken on more than 1,000 apprentices and I am delighted we were able to launch a recruitment drive for a further 160 earlier this month.

‘There is no doubt the council’s approach and direction will change significantly following the recent county council election and it is an appropriate time for new managerial leadership at a time when the political leadership has changed.

‘Once again I would like to thank you all for your help and support during my time and wish you all the very best for the future.’