A new council for Bucks next year - and Rachael is the chief executive

Rachael Shimmin
Rachael Shimmin

The new Bucks-wide unitary authority has appointed its chief executive.

Rachael Shimmin will be the Chief Executive of the new Buckinghamshire Council, and will shape the new authority ready for it to come into force on April 1 2020.

Her role is a big one, she will lead the second largest non-metropolitan unitary in England, providing all of the current county and district councils’ services across the county - worth £1billion.

Prior to this role Rachael has been working as interim head of paid services for the new Buckinghamshire Council, and before that she served as chief executive of Bucks County Council for three years.

In her new job she will work with a team of more than 300 staff from the five current councils including AVDC, to set up the new authority.

She will also work with the 202 elected members who make up the Shadow Authority and the decision-making Shadow Executive to oversee the creation of the new council.

Rachael will now formally take up the position of Chief Executive almost three years since her arrival at Buckinghamshire County Council.

She said: “Setting up the new Buckinghamshire Council is a once-in-a-career opportunity. The communities of Buckinghamshire deserve the best possible public services and I am excited to be heading up the organisation that will deliver them.

"While the task ahead of us shouldn’t be underestimated, the programme to create the new council is well established and has a clear focus on what is required. I am determined to create an organisation that will lead the way in providing excellent services.”

Leader of the Shadow Executive, Cllr Martin Tett, said: “Creating the new Buckinghamshire Council is a massive challenge but I know Rachael is the person who will ensure it happens and I look forward to working with them. We have the opportunity here to improve services and create simpler, more efficient and effective local government that will deliver for all of our communities.”

Deputy Leader of the Shadow Executive, Cllr Katrina Wood said: “This is an exciting step in the creation of the new unitary authority for Buckinghamshire and I’m confident that Rachael will lead employees to create a new council that brings together the best of the five councils to promote Buckinghamshire as a great place to live, work and do business.”

Under the new council, residents will access services in a way very similar to the current set up. Residents will not see any major changes on day 1 of the Buckinghamshire Council, as all the councils involved are committed to ensuring a smooth transition to the new council.

The appointment is the result of a national recruitment process which started in early June and was overseen by the members of the Senior Appointment Sub Committee.

For more information about the new Buckinghamshire Council, and the Shadow Authority which has been set up to create it, visit shadow.buckinghamshire.gov.uk and follow on twitter @DeliveringBucks.