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Cheshire East Council announces preferred candidate for chief executive

30 November 2023

Cheshire East Council is set to appoint Rob Polkinghorne as its new permanent chief executive.

The council’s appointments committee is due to recommend Mr Polkinghorne as the preferred candidate in a report to full council. The decision to appoint a new chief executive will be taken at the meeting of full council on 13 December.

This follows a rigorous recruitment and selection process, involving the appointments committee and a number of stakeholder panels.

Mr Polkinghorne began his career in local government in 1996. He held various roles focusing on regeneration and environmental projects, subsequently transitioning to strategic planning, policy formulation, performance management and organisational transformation. Mr Polkinghorne has worked in unitary, county, borough and district councils, covering both urban and rural areas. 

Beyond local government, he assumed leadership roles in the fire and rescue service and the NHS before securing the post of chief operating officer at Aberdeen City Council and then becoming chief executive at Southend City Council. 

Councillor Fiona Wilson, chair of the appointments committee, said: “I would like to thank my fellow committee members, the members of the stakeholder panels and all the candidates for their positive engagement with the recruitment and selection process.

“The recommendation of a preferred candidate for the role of chief executive is one of the most important functions of the appointments committee – and identifying the best candidate for Cheshire East was not a decision taken lightly.

“I would like to congratulate Mr Polkinghorne on being named as preferred candidate.”