Harborough Council chief executive resigns

Anna Graves who takes over as chief executive of South Holland District Council in April.
Anna Graves who takes over as chief executive of South Holland District Council in April.

Harborough District Council’s chief executive has announced she is resigning.

Anna Graves was appointed in May 2011 on a six-month interim basis but her contract was extended several times.

The announcement was made tonight during the local authority’s full council meeting at The Three Swans Hotel in Harborough.

The Mail understands she is departing to take up a head role at another local authority.

It leaves the council with a big role to fill - the highest ranking civil servant on the council and head of the paid service - at a crucial time.

The authority is in the midst of its flagship Transformation Programme, agreed under Ms Graves direction in November 2011, which is aiming to save £3million over the next five years by transforming the services it offers and the way it uses property assets.

During Ms Graves time at the helm, she has overseen the £5.75m redevelopment of the council’s Symington Building headquarters in Adam and Eve Street as well as the start of the £480,000 revamp to the town’s Market Hall.

She joined the authority having worked for a number of years as a private consultant, including a stint in 2008 when she advised the council over the Co-op’s proposal for the now-shelved Pennbury eco-town at Great Glen.

During that contract, she represented the authority at a local, regional and national level, working with Government departments and ministers. Ms Graves chaired a cross-authority Steering Group overseeing the delivery of a strategic assessment study into the impact of the proposed eco-town.

A transportation engineer by profession, she had previously worked with the Greater London Authority, London Climate Change Partnership, London Food Board and Drain London Partnership.

Prior to being an independent consultant she held numerous senior positions within local government, including as strategic director for regeneration and development at Norwich City Council.

Ms Graves was the second woman to ever hold the position of chief executive at Harborough Council.

The Tory-run council has previously said that it would investigate the possibility of sharing a management team or possibly even a chief executive.

Follow Alex on Twitter, @BlackwellHarb.