Bradford Council announces preferred candidate for chief executive

Article dated Monday Jul 3, 2023 at 01:48 PM

Bradford Council is poised to appoint a new chief executive, Lorraine O'Donnell.

Lorraine, who is currently the chief executive of Cheshire East Council, has been identified as the preferred candidate, by a cross-party panel, to replace Kersten England who announced in January that she would retire this year.

Her appointment will be recommended to full council on 11 July and, following council's approval and standard background checks, a formal appointment will be made.

Lorraine has a wealth of experience in local government, having worked in a number of authorities in the north east before joining Cheshire East as chief executive in early 2020. She has been part of corporate management teams from 18 months into her career – helping Darlington become the highest performing authority in the country and Durham County Council become Council of the Year three years from its creation as one of the largest unitary councils in the country.

Prior to local government, she completed a doctorate in theoretical physics at Oxford University and as the first in her family to go to university and the first from her school to go to Oxford, she is passionate about ensuring that people from all backgrounds are able to realise their ambitions.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “I am delighted that someone of Lorraine’s calibre has been identified as our preferred candidate.

“The chief executive of Bradford Council is one of the biggest jobs in local government. The chief executive plays a very significant role in contributing to the delivery of the council’s priorities.

“Lorraine is an experienced leader with an impressive track record of delivering improvements and will be a real asset to us as we work to continue to drive forward with our ambitions for the district.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Kersten England for agreeing to delay her retirement while we completed a thorough and competitive recruitment process. I know Lorraine will build on Kersten’s legacy and bring new energy and focus to the job in hand.”

The full council meeting on Tuesday 11 July starts at 4pm and can be viewed here


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