North Northamptonshire Council chief executive Rob Bridge quits to take new role in Peterborough

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The council’s first chief executive has resigned

North Northamptonshire Council’s (NNC) first chief executive has quit to take on a new job at another authority.

Rob Bridge, who started his role in November 2020, submitted his resignation today having been appointed as the new chief executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

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He is expected to start in the role in June, working for their elected mayor.

Returning officer and chief exec of NNC Rob BridgeReturning officer and chief exec of NNC Rob Bridge
Returning officer and chief exec of NNC Rob Bridge

NNC will now discuss the process of appointing an interim chief executive after an urgent item was added to this Thursday’s (March 30) full council meeting.

Mr Bridge said: "It has been an absolute honour to be the council’s first chief executive.

"I am moving to another very challenging role but I will always have the fondest of memories for north Northamptonshire, its local communities, staff and elected members.”

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Mr Bridge’s work in the county began with the North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority, in preparation for the new unitary council which came into existence in April 2021.

North Northamptonshire Council was created on Government orders following the financial mismanagement of Northamptonshire County Council, which was Conservative-controlled when it ceased operating.

Cllr Jason Smithers (Con), leader of North Northamptonshire Council, said: “I am grateful to Rob for all his work since becoming the council’s first chief executive.

“Being the council’s first chief executive was always going to be a challenge, which Rob has grasped with enthusiasm and determination.

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“I am pleased for Rob and wish him the best in his new challenge.

"He leaves the council in an excellent position to seek a new chief executive who can continue our journey of improving public services for our residents and businesses, who are the focus of everything that we do.”

NNC will undergo a national recruitment exercise to appoint its next permanent chief executive, a vacancy which will be added to the hundreds it already has as it battles to plug the gap in its workforce.

Last year another council director, public health boss Lucy Wightman, also resigned to take on a similar role in Essex. She has still not been permanently replaced and John Ashton has been the council’s interim director of public health.

He is due to leave at the end of March and will be replaced by new interim public health director Susan Hamilton on April 1.