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Gloucestershire Business News

New managing director for service company owned by Gloucestershire local authorities

The company which provides shared services to three Gloucestershire local authorities has appointed a new managing director.

Publica, a company joint owned by Cheltenham Borough and Forest of Dean, Cotswold and West Oxfordshire District Councils, has appointed Jan Britton to the role, starting on October 1.

The new managing director will work alongside current MD David Neudegg until the end of 2019 before assuming full responsibility for the role at the start of 2020.

Mr Britton has spent 30 years working in local government, having started at Dagenham Borough Council's planning team in 1991.

He then found a niche in leisure and environmental services in various local authorities before joining Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in 2006.

He led their environment team before moving into urban regeneration in 2009 and then to the role of chief executive in 2010, a post he held until stepping down earlier this month.

Councillor Joe Harris, Leader of Cotswold District Council, said: "It is fair to say that Jan's standing in local government makes his appointment a coup for Publica.

"I was particularly impressed with his track record of protecting, and indeed enhancing, front-line services in the face of significant budgetary challenges.

"He also brings experience of joint working, and in managing relations between authorities with different political leadership, policies and priorities, which will be invaluable given the very mixed political landscape in which Publica is now operating."

Cllr Tim Gwilliam, Leader of Forest of Dean District Council, said: "This Council is facing a time of change and challenge. We want to provide quality modern services to our communities at the same time as facing serious financial obstacles.

"We want to regenerate our district in terms of jobs, housing and improve social mobility. We have to think big and we have to deliver value for money, quality services.

"Jan will be a huge asset in us achieving these goals. With vast experience of the public sector, along with demonstrable drive and will to succeed, his is an exciting appointment."

Publica's Chair, David Brooks added: "We attracted an extremely strong field of candidates for this role and I am delighted it has enabled us to appoint someone with such a wide range of essential skills to the Managing Director position.

"He was the unanimous choice of our selection panel, which included all four of our respective council leaders, and I am looking forward to working with him as he brings new ideas to our transformation program as we continue our evolution as an organisation."

Jan Britton added: "Publica presents me with a fresh opportunity within local government and I'm really excited to be joining an ambitious organisation which is taking the opportunity to transform the way local services are delivered; offer wider career opportunities for its staff; and make an impact nationally. I look forward to meeting the staff, councillors, customers and other stakeholders over the coming months."

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