THIS is the man who will lead the new Cheshire West and Chester Council when it takes the reins of local government power next April.
Steve Robinson has been offered the post of chief executive of the shadow council which will replace Cheshire County Council and the three district councils serving West Cheshire.
Mr Robinson, 52, is the serving chief executive of Stoke-on-Trent City Council which has been transformed from a one-star failing council to a three-star high performing council within 12 months.
His appointment is expected to be confirmed at a full council meeting of Cheshire West and Chester Council next Thursday.
Mr Robinson, who will take up the role from October 1, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be offered the opportunity to lead the brand new council for Cheshire West and Chester.
“This is a unique opportunity in the lifetime of anyone’s career and I look forward to building on the good work that has already been achieved by the previous councils.
“The new council is extremely well placed to punch its weight in the North West to attract public and private investment to improve the prosperity of the area. This is an exciting time for everyone.
“I look forward to working with the leader, elected members, colleagues and partners to provide high quality services to local residents.”
Conservative leader of the shadow council, Cllr Mike Jones, said: “I am delighted that Steve has accepted our offer to become the first chief executive of Cheshire West and Chester.
“This a fantastic opportunity to create a council that will make a real and improved difference to people’s lives. I believe Steve is extremely well placed to achieve this.
“He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in change management and driving a fresh vision forward. Having spoken in depth to him, I know he is ready for this exciting and demanding challenge.”
Labour councillor Derek Bateman and Lib Dem councillor Bob Thompson are wholly supportive of the appointment.
Cllr Bateman said: “Steve Robinson is a first-class appointment and we are convinced he will carry out his role as the council’s prime statutory officer equally for all [political] groups. The appointment has all-party support. We believe he has the necessary skills and experience to bring the four merging authorities together successfully.”
Cllr Thompson added: “Steve has shown he is an effective leader and can drive a council and area through a change process successfully.”