LANCASHIRE County Council has today appointed a new chief executive.
Jo Turton has been in the role on an interim basis since last August, but the council began looking for a permanent appointment in January.
The county council appointed Jo as its executive director for the environment – responsible for service areas including roads, transport and waste – in February 2009.
Prior to that she held senior roles at Shropshire County Council as assistant chief executive and interim director for the environment.
Her career in local government began 26 years ago and she has also worked for the Audit Commission, assessing the performance and value for money of public services.
"I'm extremely proud to have been appointed, not least because in my five years here to date it has been evident how very capable and committed colleagues across the council are to delivering the best possible services," she said.
"The council faces an extremely challenging time for the foreseeable future, but I know the staff and members here have the passion and creativity to rise to the challenge.
"Despite the financial situation, we'll also be undertaking some really significant activities in support of local communities including work around transport and the economy, and I'm looking forward to making a positive difference."
Leader of the council, county councillor Jennifer Mein, said: "We had an excellent field of candidates and it is testament to Jo's considerable knowledge and experience that she has got the job on a permanent basis.
"She brings more than 25 years' relevant experience to the role and has already established a strong track record at the county council since arriving here in 2009, both as executive director for the environment and in her spell as interim chief executive.
"As a result of Government cuts, we really are entering the most challenging period this organisation has ever faced.
"I've every confidence Jo has the vision and leadership skills needed to take the council through that period while maintaining the highest standards of service for people across Lancashire."
The decision to appoint Ms Turton was approved by the meeting of the Full Council, accepting the recommendation of the council's Employment Committee.