Council chief executive steps down

THE chief executive of Herts County Council (HCC) is to retire next spring, with no plans in place to replace her.

Caroline Tapster, who earns more than �200,000 a year, announced her retirement after 16 years at HCC, last week.

In a statement, she said: “After more than 30 years in the public sector, the time is right for me to move on. Whether as a trainee social worker in Dorset or during my eight years as Hertfordshire County Council’s Chief Executive, I have enjoyed the challenge and privilege of bringing about improvements to the daily lives of the people we serve.

“Despite the difficult financial environment, HCC is performing strongly and I have every confidence that my senior colleagues have the skills and drive to continue to make Hertfordshire a county of opportunity.

“I would like to thank my colleagues, both employees and county councillors, and my partners in the public sector, who have helped to make my role so fulfilling.”

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Ms Tapster’s resignation was considered, and approved, at an Employment Commitee meeting.

The council will not be replacing the role of chief executive, with plans in place that, following a formal process, the council will appoint one of the current directors to take over chief executive duties. Whoever is appointed would retain some of their current departmental responsibilities.

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This will pave the way for a restructure of the senior management team, in a bid to save HCC more money.

Robert Gordon, leader of the council, said: “The committee, which I chair, noted that Caroline has led HCC to its current position of strength, with services performing well and public satisfaction with the council significantly higher than the national average.

“Under Caroline Tapster’s management, HCC has earned its reputation as a leading council, identifying significant efficiencies and improving services to the most vulnerable even in today’s tough economic climate.”

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