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City has a new top banana

Lancs council boss Ged Fitzgerald returns to chief exec's job

Published on November 3rd 2010.

City has a new top banana

LIVERPOOL City Council has a new chief executive.

Ged Fitzgerald, 49, was appointed to the £197,000 job following an interview last week. For the past two and a half years he has been the boss of Lancashire County Council.

Mr Fitzgerald is no stranger to Liverpool. He worked for the city council between 1996 and 1998 as head of Economic Development and European Affairs and then as director of City Challenge.

He said: "I'm delighted to be offered the post of chief executive of one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in the world.

"Liverpool's transformation over the past decade has been nothing short of breathtaking and Liverpool has shown every other major city that it is possible to shake off years of decline and stagnation and to reinvent yourself as a modern, enterprising and vibrant place.”

He added: "A lot has been achieved, but I truly believe Liverpool's best days lie ahead. Despite the tough economic times, it's vital we continue to change and improve. One of my first tasks is to work with all members of the council and city council staff to ensure the resources we have available are directed at front-line services, and we continue to support those who need the lifeline of our services most. We must continue to improve and adapt our services so that we meet today's needs of our residents. And we must continue to build even stronger links with business and enterprise to attract the investment and new jobs so vital to our future prosperity.

"I know Liverpool well, having worked for the city council some 15 years ago. A lot has changed since then, but one thing remains constant. It's the friendliness, wit, inventiveness and get-up-and-go of Liverpool people. They our greatest asset, and I look forward to serving all the residents of the city."

Mr Fitzgerald, who is married with a young daughter, is expected to take up his post on Monday 7 February 2011. His appointment as Liverpool chief executive is subject to formal council approval on 10 November and contract details being finalised. He takes over from Colin Hilton who retired from the authority in May this year with a wheelbarrow-sized pay off shortly after Labour swept to power in the local elections.

Leader of the city council, Councillor Joe Anderson, said Mr Fitzgerald's expertise would help the city “beat the worst effects of the downturn”.

"Appointing Ged Fitzgerald is a real coup for Liverpool. He is one of the most successful chief executives in local government. He brings a depth of experience and expertise at a time when the city needs it most.”

"Local government is facing huge challenges, not least from the huge public expenditure cuts announced just last week. Ged has a proven track record in delivering high-quality public services in the most efficient way possible.

"I have said Liverpool must attract new jobs and businesses to the city to guarantee our future success. I look forward to working alongside Ged to create one of the most business-friendly cities in the UK."

Phew. Isn't it nice when everyone likes each other at the city council?

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AnonymousNovember 2nd 2010.

Let us hope that this is an end to all the in fighting and nasty sniping that we have had to put up with over the last few years. The city has one chance to look grown up after years of the fireman and his puppetmaster Story. Let's hope it takes it.

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