Hounslow Council Chief Executive Quits

Mary Harpley leaving to take up role with Greater London Assembly

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Mary Harpley - Departing Chief Executive of Hounslow Council

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The chief executive of Hounslow Council is to leave to take up a top role with the Greater London Authority (GLA).

As Chief Officer, Mary Harpley will act as the GLA’s statutory Head of Paid Service and becomes the first woman to lead the GLA staff as its most senior officer. She replaces Jeff Jacobs, who has retired. She has more than 30 years’ experience both in the public and private sectors including seven in Hounslow.

At Hounslow, she has overall responsibility for the council’s 2,500 staff and was principal adviser on strategy and policy to the Leader of the Council, Cabinet and the Leader of the Opposition. She previously served as Chief Executive of Cherwell District Council in North Oxfordshire, management consultant at McKinsey & Company and Corporate Director of the former West Midlands Regional Development Agency. Her salary at Hounslow is understood to be over £200,000 per annum if pension contributions are included.

She will be responsible for the strategic direction and management of the organisation and will lead the corporate management team of executive directors. She will also act as Greater London Returning Officer.

She said, “I am delighted to be moving to City Hall to work with the Mayor, the Assembly, GLA staff and partners. I have lived and worked in London for most of my working life and am very excited by the opportunity to contribute to current and future work to maintain and enhance London’s status as a great city”.

Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council expressed regret that Ms Harpley was leaving and wished her well saying, “Mary has been our Chief Executive for over seven years and has made a tremendous contribution to this Council and the borough, supporting the leadership of two administrations and working well with opposition members too. In particular, Mary has worked with Cllr Jagdish Sharma and myself, and our respective Cabinets, to deliver two ambitious Corporate Plans.“

She will be taking up her new role in September and work has already begun to recruit a successor.

The appointment was made jointly by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the London Assembly. Mr Khan, said, “I am delighted to welcome Mary to City Hall and look forward to working with her as we strive to create a city that works for everyone and leaves no Londoner behind.

“There was a strong field for this role but Mary’s track-record, vision and tenacity singled her out as the ideal candidate for this important role.”

Chairman of the London Assembly, Tony Arbour AM, said, ““Mary’s wealth of experience and leadership skills will ensure our success as champions for the Capital. We look forward to working with her, investigating the issues that matter to Londoners.”

The appointment is subject to formal ratification by the Mayor and London Assembly.

May 29, 2018

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