New chief executive joins team
Published: Tuesday 26th October 10
Wandsworth Council's new chief executive has formally taken up the reins at the authority promising to stay focused on the needs of residents and continue delivering a low tax and top performing town hall.
Paul Martin, formerly chief executive at Sutton Council, has replaced Gerald Jones who's retired after 24 years in the post.
Mr Martin has enjoyed a highly successful career in both local government and the civil service, and was unanimously selected for the job from a field of accomplished and high-achieving candidates.
Speaking today Mr Martin pledged to keep Wandsworth as the number one council in the country for its quality of services and also its affordability.
He said: "The council has a unique record in local government of delivering top-rated services at low cost to taxpayers. This is a direct consequence of the stability and excellence of its leadership, management and delivery of services at all levels throughout the organisation.
"The leader of the council, speaking at the council meeting last week, paid tribute to the 'exceptional' workforce which, he said, had helped to make Wandsworth the successful authority it is today. For my part, I am greatly looking forward to working with such a talented group of staff.
"We must stay focused on the needs of our residents and their wish to live and work in a borough with a reputation for excellent services and an affordable council tax.
"My aim is to ensure that Wandsworth is at the forefront of the new ideas that will ensure we remain number one for service and value."
Before joining Sutton Council, where he spent five years as chief executive, Mr Martin held a senior civil service post. He served as assistant chief executive at Cambridgeshire County Council in the 1990s and moved in 1997 to help create the new unitary authority in Peterborough where he also held the post of chief executive. Prior to that, he held posts at Manchester City Council, Bolton Council and Nottinghamshire County Council.
Wandsworth Council is a £900m a year business and looks after more than £3 billion of public assets. Chief executives have to manage that business and at the same time accept responsibility for meeting a host of performance and service targets.
Until his retirement Mr Jones was London's longest serving local authority chief executive. He was due to retire in 2008 but was asked to stay on to successfully see the council through a period of senior staff retirements.
Under his stewardship the council delivered cumulative savings to taxpayers worth £200m each and every year and delivered the country's lowest council tax bills for over 20 years - with Wandsworth's current Band D bill of £682 amounting to just half the UK average.
In addition he has ensured that the town hall's services are among the best in the country.
Wandsworth has enjoyed an "excellent" rating from auditors for the past seven years for all its services across the board and is ranked by the Audit Commission as number one in the country for offering value for money.
The council also has the highest satisfaction ratings and also value for money scores from its residents of any local authority in the UK.
The council's website contains all current and past press releases dating back to February 2000