Council bids farewell to a long-serving chief executive

Gavin Whitefield
Gavin Whitefield

North Lanarkshire Council’s most senior officer has announced his retirement after 15 years in the job, making him one of the country’s longest serving chief executives.

Gavin Whitefield CBE (59) took the position in 2000 and said the council has changed dramatically over the years.

He told staff of his intention to step down in an email which said: “I am enormously proud to have had the privilege of serving North Lanarkshire Council as chief executive over the last 15 years and have now decided to leave local government service in October.

“Since my appointment I have worked as hard as I can to develop the organisation to be one which is forward thinking and constantly committed to providing the highest quality of service.

“Despite the exceptional financial pressures we have faced since 2010, our Service and People First programme has enabled the council to maintain a positive focus on delivering and developing services.

“The last two years have been particularly demanding and, having resolved a number of major issues over that period, the time is now right to pass responsibility to my successor to take the council forward.”

His colleagues paid tribute to him and said that he was devoted to his job.

Councillor Jim McCabe, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The most striking thing about Gavin is his 100 per cent commitment to everything he does and that’s certainly true of his time as chief executive. Despite challenges caused by austerity, Gavin has driven through some key policy commitments. For example, our Schools and Centres 21 project has seen us build dozens of schools fit for the 21st century.”