Parker heading for Westminster City Council
Reporter: Richard Hooton
Date online: 19 September 2013
Oldham Council chief executive Charlie Parker is leaving Oldham Council after five years to take one of the top jobs in local government.
The 52-year-old head of Oldham Council is expected to be named chief executive of Westminster City Council, at the heart of London’s political power centre.
The recommendation will be approved at a meeting of the London council next Thursday. Assuming his appointment is approved, he will take over from Mike More, who is stepping down at the end of 2013.
Mr Parker joined Oldham Council in October 2008 and hass overseen a period of rapid recovery and transformation that earned national recognition, including Oldham’s most improved council trophy at the 2012 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.
His tenure has seen the introduction of major service improvements and the attraction of an estimated £500 million in investments in the borough, even at a time when he has also presided over council cuts of around £140million.
Council leader Jim McMahon said: “When Charlie arrived here we agreed across the parties that Oldham Council needed to change. Charlie was clear it would take five years to make the council fit-for-purpose again, kickstart regeneration and deliver the town we all know we can be.
“He has delivered on both counts and set Oldham on a journey that residents, businesses and partners are starting to see the results of.
“Our achievements here have clearly caught people’s attention: the post he is taking is one of the very top local government jobs in the country.”
Mr Parker, who is also chief executive for the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, was selected for the Westminster post after a rigorous recruitment process. His date of departure from Oldham will be announced later
Mr Parker said: “This has been a very difficult choice for me to make. The Westminster role is the type of opportunity that only comes once in a lifetime and it’s probably only one of a couple that I would have left Oldham to take.
“I’ve had a fantastic five years here. It’s been a privilege and pleasure to be involved in the improvements that have set us apart.
“Before I go plenty of important work remains to be done — particularly in terms of finalising regeneration deals. I am totally focussed on ensuring I leave Oldham on a high.”
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