South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils have confirmed Sophie Hosking's appointment as Chief Executive for both Councils.

Sophie Hosking

This is a position she has held on an interim basis since joint Executive Director, Steve Jorden, left the organisation in February 2018.

When both Councils started their transformation programme they created positions for two Executive Directors. Their role was to lead the Councils through the transformation and deliver savings by improving how the Councils worked. 

During this time the combined staff, which serves both Councils, reduced their head count by 137 full time employees.  All of the Councils' services were remodelled and new technology was introduced. The whole transformation now saves both Councils £4.4 million in operating costs every year. 

Cllr Simon Wright, Deputy Leader of South Hams District Council, said: "Following a period of interim arrangements it is now the right time to confirm Mrs Hosking's appointment as we need to make sure the council has strong management leadership to work with the new council after the elections in May.  

"We have challenging and uncertain times ahead with more reductions to our funding and growing needs in our communities.  I have every confidence that Mrs Hosking will rise to the challenge, and that she will ."

Cllr Philip Sanders, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: "We have been delighted with how Mrs Hosking has led us through the transformation and it makes perfect sense to us that she now permanently takes on this role. 

"There have been trials and challenges since she joined us and she has responded to all of them with the utmost professionalism." 

Sophie Hosking's appointment was also recommended by an independent team of councillors and officers from around the country, who were invited into the Councils to look at everything they do. 

The report they provided stated: "It is to the credit of the Head of Paid Service and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) that they have steered this organisational transformation, during a difficult period, to achieve the original objectives set, and to create the springboard for the future." 

The Peer Review team went on to say that if the Councils were to formalise the arrangement of a Chief Executive it would strengthen them and provide a strong leadership to drive the next phase of the Councils' plans for the future.

At the recent Full Council meetings at both Councils, Members voted unanimously in favour of confirming Sophie Hosking as Chief Executive. 

Sophie Hosking, Chief Executive For South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils, said: "I am delighted to be officially appointed into this position and I'm really proud to be working for both Councils.



Issued 25 February 2019