DERBYSHIRE: Challenging times for new man at top

Derbyshire County Council chief executive Ian Stephenson.
Derbyshire County Council chief executive Ian Stephenson.

Derbyshire County Council has revealed its new Chief Executive.

Ian Stephenson has taken up the role following the mysterious departure of former top man Nick Hodgson in June.

He will be paid £138,000 a year in the post – £14,000 less than Mr Hodgson.

Mr Stephenson, 60, of Hathersage, joined the authority in 2007 as Strategic Director of Environmental Services after holding senior management roles at Wakefield and Doncaster councils.

The county council has made £70m of savings since 2010 and will have to make further budget cuts of £100m over the next four years as a result of Government austerity measures.

Mr Stephenson said: “There’s no doubt we’re facing challenging times.

“We’re having to deal with an unprecidented level of Government cuts.”

He said Derbyshire residents will see “some effects” as a result of the savings but stressed the authority would work to minimise them.

Commenting on his appointment, Cllr Anne Western, leader of the newly-elected Labour council, said: “I’m delighted Mr Stephenson has been successful in securing this important job.

“We’ll be putting his considerable experience of working for Derbyshire and other councils to good use.”

The council has refused to confirm the reasons for Mr Hodgson’s exit or reveal whether he received a pay-off.

Both Mr Stephenson and Cllr Western said they recognised the contribution Mr Hodgson had made over many years and the council was grateful for his long and loyal service which had served local people well.

Cllr Western added: “But this is a new council and local people overwhelmingly voted for a new approach and new ideas. That’s what we promised and that’s what we will focus on delivering over the next four years.”