Sheffield City Council have announced the appointment of Kate Josephs as the new Chief Executive.
Kate Josephs, New Sheffield City Council Chief Executive
Kate Josephs will join Sheffield City Council as Chief Executive in January 2021.
Currently Kate heads up the Number 10 COVID Taskforce as Director General. Previously, she has held a number of senior roles in both the UK and US Governments.
“We have been overwhelmed by her energy, passion for Sheffield and her engaging and inspiring demeanour. Her qualities, experience and aptitude make her perfectly placed to bring the change we want for Sheffield and she stood out as the inspirational, outstanding and unique candidate in a very strong field.”Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council
Strong replacement for John Mothersole
Kate Josephs’ appointment is a welcomed one. The Chief Executive position opened up following the retirement of John Mothersole from the role.
Mothersole’s eleven years as the Council’s top officer will be remembered for its controversies. He oversaw the criminalisation and prosecution of protesting pensioners during the council’s frankly ridiculous position on removing street trees.
Additionally, his time — alongside that of outgoing Leader of Sheffield City Council Julie Dore — saw the trumpeting of city investment from Chinese firm Sichuan Guodong Construction Group that never materialised, and would have seen the council selling off important assets such as the Central Library.
“Having being born and raised in Sheffield, living in the city my whole life, serving as a Councillor for 20 years and Leader of the council for the past 9 years, I am so excited by the opportunity this presents for the city that I love. It is a real once in a generational chance to make the changes we want to see and address some of the challenges we face.”Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council
A busy start for Kate Josephs
As the new Chief Executive, Kate Josephs will have a busy start to her tenure. A number of immediate objectives will be on the cards, on top of the normal day-to-day running of the city and its services.
Thanks for the lovely messages re my appointment as new CEO of Sheffield city council, I start in January. I’m excited to play my part in a bright future for this brilliant city and thrilled to be heading home to Yorkshire. https://t.co/R7SmMqAHDa— Kate Josephs (@katejosephs) August 11, 2020
Not only will the city need strong leadership to recover from the current pandemic, Kate almost immediately faces a challenge to the way the city is run by its elected members which needs to be prepared for.
The next local elections (delayed from this year to next) will include a referendum on the elected leadership model. Over 26,000 people signed a petition calling for a change to the current ‘strong leader’ system, forcing the referendum.
How our elected officials interact with Council officers will be an important part of any change. As the Council’s top officer, Kate will need to oversee any necessary changes potentially brought about by the people of Sheffield voting to change to a modern Committee-style system.
“Kate has so much experience she would be a great addition to any organisation and how amazing that she has chosen Sheffield. Kate is from our region, this is where she is rooted, where her heart is and part of who she is. It comes across clearly and passionately that her background has shaped her values as well as driving her motivation and commitment to public service.
“Kate’s experience and CV are extremely impressive and she will come here having worked in the highest level of Government in both the UK and in America, with Prime Ministers, Chancellors and Ministers. This experience will bring Sheffield great opportunities on the national and international stage.
“We are convinced that Sheffield will welcome her in the same way that we already have, Kate is an incredible asset for our city. It is now incumbent on all of us to come together and to make this exciting new beginning work for our city, in the interests of the people of Sheffield.Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council
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