Council confirms new managing director

The appointment of the Royal Borough’s new managing director has been confirmed.

Duncan Sharkey will take over the £149,000-a-year role next month after councillors rubber-stamped his move at a meeting of full council on Monday.

The borough has been on the lookout for a new permanent head of paid service since Alison Alexander announced she was leaving in August.

Russell O’Keefe took over the role of acting managing director but will now move aside for Mr Sharkey, who joins the borough following

almost four years as corporate director at Milton Keynes Council.

Royal Borough leader Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) said: “I’m delighted that Duncan will be joining us shortly.

“He has over 25 years experience in central and local government and in his previous role he was responsible for a range of services including regeneration, community safety, housing and waste.

“He will be a huge asset to the Royal Borough and will help us to deliver a range of frontline services for our council, as well as ensuring we continue to deliver a balanced budget, focus on performance and ensure we monitor the range of commissioned services including adults, children’s and highways.”

Cllr Dudley also praised Mr O’Keefe for his work as acting managing director.

Cllr Geoff Hill (TBF, Oldfield) told the meeting that questions remained ‘unanswered’ regarding the departure of Ms Alexander.

He said: “I refer to this as the incredible HR mystery.

“We lost a very capable head of service in Alison Alexander in the strangest of circumstances and questions from councillors have gone unanswered.”

In a statement issued by the Royal Borough, Mr Sharkey said he was looking forward to meeting councillors, officers and the communities of the Royal Borough.

He said: “The Royal Borough is an exceptional place to live and work, with the extensive >kern

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