Council chief executive steps down after 15 years

Retiring North Lanarkshire Council chief executive Gavin Whitefield
Retiring North Lanarkshire Council chief executive Gavin Whitefield

North Lanarkshire Council chief executive, Gavin Whitefield CBE, has announced his intention to retire after 15 years in the job.

Mr Whitefield (59) is one of Scotland’s longest-serving chief executives and took over as the council’s most senior officer in 2000.

Announcing his retirement in an email to staff, he said he was enormously proud to have served as chief executive but had decided to leave local government service in October.

He added: “I have worked as hard as I can to develop the organisation to be one which is forward thinking and constantly committed to providing the highest quality of service.

“Despite exceptional financial pressures we have faced since 2010, our Service and People First programme has enabled the Council to maintain a positive focus on delivering and developing services.

“The last two years have been particularly demanding and, having resolved a number of major issues over that period, the time is now right to pass responsibility to my successor to take the Council forward.”

Council leader Jim McCabe paid tribute to Mr Whitefield’s work over the past decade and a half.

He said: “The most striking thing about Gavin is his 100 per cent commitment to everything he does and that’s certainly true of his time as chief executive.

“I was elected leader in 1998 and Gavin came in as chief executive in 2000. We faced some serious challenges as a council and we have overcome them.

“During the last 15 years the organisation has changed dramatically and despite challenges caused by austerity Gavin has driven through key policy commitments. He will certainly be a hard act to follow.”