Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, Roger Lawrence has paid tribute to the council's "visionary and inspirational managing director" after it was announced that he's leaving the City of Wolverhampton to become the new Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council.

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Councillor Lawrence said: "Although I'm sad to see Keith leave us after nearly 4 years as the council's managing director, I'd like to congratulate him on the offer of the new position at Lincolnshire County Council which, subject to county council approval, represents a fresh new challenge.

"Keith has been a visionary and inspirational managing director who has worked closely with cabinet members to deliver huge service transformation at the council - despite the very significant financial challenges we face.

"He has helped the council maintain services that matter most to local people, including the achievement last year of the council's good rating by OFSTED for our children's services, whilst delivering unprecedented budget reductions.

"These achievements were recognised last year when the City of Wolverhampton Council was named Local Authority of the Year, Most Improved Council and Senior Leadership Team of the Year at the prestigious MJ Awards 2017.

"Keith was also instrumental in helping me and political leaders across the region to set up the West Midlands Combined Authority - a programme of work he managed at break neck speed, very effectively and very diplomatically.

"I will now be working closely with cabinet colleagues to recruit a suitable replacement.

"Once again though, on behalf of the council, I would like to place on record my sincerest thanks to Keith for his outstanding and exemplary service to our city and its people and wish him all the very best with his new and exciting role."

Managing director, Keith Ireland said: "This appointment represents a new opportunity and exciting personal challenge in my local government career.

"Whilst I am of course delighted to have been successful, this is tinged with the sadness of leaving behind all the very many fantastic things we have achieved together as a city, working with partners and local people. I particularly want to pay tribute to the very many brilliant council employees who have been with me on an incredible transformation journey during challenging times."

  • released: Tuesday 8 May, 2018