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All change at the top: City Council confirms departure of Heather McManus

John Freeman
Lancaster City Council has confirmed it has made changes to its senior management, which sees, amongst other revisions, the disestablishment of the Deputy Chief Executive post held by Heather McManus.

Formally the Corporate Director – Regeneration, Heather was appointed to the post of Deputy Chief Executive which was created two years ago (see news story), when the three Corporate Director posts were disestablished and replaced by a Deputy Chief Executive post.

Heather’s tenure as Deputy Chief Executive has coincided with fundamental changes to the public sector, with local authorities and other public services radically re-examining the ways in which they deliver services. Out of these challenges have come, say th Counci, "many changes and challenges, that leave the city council in a position where it is continuing to provide the services that matter most to people in the most efficient and effective way."

As you would expect, as a Corporate Director and latterly as Deputy Chief Executive, the Council also says Heather has played an instrumental role in helping shape the service structures they have in place today.

"Having shown great enthusiasm, energy, drive and commitment in both her roles, Heather has played a key role in developing the strategic direction for a number of corporate programmes and important regeneration initiatives.

"Heather’s undoubted talent and experience in asset management and regeneration has been borne out recently in her appointment as President of ACES (the Association of Chief Estates Surveyors and Property Managers in the Public Sector) and we wish her well in this prestigious national appointment."

Of course, longtime readers of virtual-lancaster may also recall that Ms McManus was also party to some of the Council's less popular decisions of late, such as the closure of Lancaster Market and indeed the handling of its potential sell-off of the building's lease to a now discreditted developer.

Commenting on her departure, Heather said: “This has been a challenging time for local government but one the city council has adapted well to. Our latest budget demonstrates this, achieving significant savings, maintaining a 0% council tax and, close to my heart, investing significant funding to take forward important regeneration projects such as Lancaster Square Routes, Morecambe Area Action Plan and the business improvement district (Bid) plans for both towns.

"I am delighted our hard work to progress developments such as Luneside East is now taking off and I leave the district confident that it is in a strong position with a very positive future. I am personally proud of the part I have played in these changes and achievements.

"I will leave wishing the staff, councillors and people of the area well. I am a huge fan of the whole area and will continue to be a frequent visitor and promoter of its many assets."