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The Secretary of State has decided to appoint three Commissioners: a Lead Commissioner; a Commissioner for Finance; and a Commissioner for Transformation.

The Commissioners have been granted extensive powers and will oversee the full range of the council’s improvement activities, including strategies to secure the medium and long term financial sustainability of the council and plans to transform front line services.

  • Tony McArdleLead Commissioner, Tony McArdle OBE, has extensive experience in local government and is the former Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council, and Wellingborough Council. Tony has experience in multiple interventions and best value roles, including as current Chair of the London Borough of Croydon Improvement and Assurance Panel, former Lead Commissioner at Northamptonshire County Council, and Best Value Inspector at Thurrock Council.
  • Commissioner for Finance, Margaret Lee, has previously worked at Essex County Council where she held the posts of Section 151 Officer and Executive Director for Corporate and Customer Services for 13 years. Margaret also has experience of interventions and best value roles, including as former Finance Commissioner at Slough Borough Council, Finance lead on the London Borough of Croydon Improvement and Assurance Panel, and Best Value Inspector at Thurrock Council.
  • Sharon KempCommissioner for Transformation - Sharon Kemp, Sharon Kemp is Chief Executive of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. She was appointed by Government Commissioners and Rotherham Council in 2016 to lead improvements which saw powers returned to the Council after intervention and a ‘Good’ Ofsted rated children and young people’s services since 2018 Since Sharon became Chief Executive, the Council has been on a journey of continuous improvement. This progress has been recognised externally, with a recent LGA Corporate Peer Challenge in 2023 stating the Council ‘serves the town well and is today an impressive organisation. It is ambitious and has well-established and robust foundations’. The Council was also awarded the Most Improved Council Award at the LGC Awards in 2022, where judges unanimously agreed that ‘from a rock bottom position it is possible to rebuild the trust of the community through understanding, courage, and openness’. Dedicated to serving people and places, Sharon has worked in the public sector for over thirty years across community safety, neighbourhood management, community cohesion, performance and partnerships. Sharon also has an Honours Degree in Public Administration. Starting her career with Greater Manchester Police, her career includes six years in Blackburn and Darwen, working in the Regeneration Department and two years at the London Borough of Haringey as Assistant Chief Executive. Prior to Rotherham, Sharon was Assistant Chief Executive for People and Strategic Director (Reform) at Manchester City Council from 2009-16.

The Commissioners have been appointed for two years, or such earlier or later time as the Secretary of State determines.

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