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Full Council approves appointment of new Chief Operating Officer


New COO for Council

Cheshire West and Chester Council has appointed a new Chief Operating Officer, following a meeting of the full Council on Thursday, 16 February.

Simon Riley replaces Mark Wynn, who has secured the position of Executive Director of Resources at Lancashire County Council.  Mark has made a substantial contribution to Cheshire West and Chester Council since its creation, and previously with Cheshire County Council. 

Simon RIley

Simon, who will start in April 2023, joins from Derby City Council, where he has been Strategic Director of Corporate Resources since 2020.  Before that he was Director of Financial Services, having joined Derby City Council in 2019. Simon’s career has been dedicated to local government, joining Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council as a trainee accountant in 1986.  Simon has previously held senior finance and leadership roles in a range of councils including Harborough District Council, Powys County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of the Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome Simon to the Council in this critical role.  He brings a real understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing local councils, as well as considerable experience in delivering priorities like those we have set out.”

Simon Riley commented: “I am looking forward to taking on this new challenge and building on the excellent work already being delivered. The opportunity to join the team (councillors and colleagues) at Cheshire West and Chester and to further develop relationships with residents, businesses and partners is exciting and one where together we can shape a sustainable future” 

Welcoming Simon to the Council, Chief Executive Andrew Lewis said: “Simon joins at a challenging time for local government, with financial and demand pressures on all our services.  Simon brings financial expertise and experience which will be crucial, as we continue to transform our services and deliver on our residents’ priorities.”

As Chief Operating Officer, Simon will lead and manage the Corporate Services directorate.  He will work to ensure efficient and sustainable finances, effective governance, transformational change, and integration of services, including with partnership with the local NHS and other public services, through our Council-owned companies, and in overseeing the Cheshire Pension Fund.