Familiar Fenland face lands top job at new unitary council in Northamptonshire -at a salary of up to £180,000 a year

PUBLISHED: 13:21 14 August 2020

Chief executive of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Rob Bridge, is to be the new £180,000 chief executive of one of two unitary authorities being created in Northamptonshire. Until 2017 he was corporate director of Fenland Council. Picture WHBC

Chief executive of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Rob Bridge, is to be the new £180,000 chief executive of one of two unitary authorities being created in Northamptonshire. Until 2017 he was corporate director of Fenland Council. Picture WHBC

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A familiar Fenland face is to take the reigns at the newly created North Northamptonshire council - and at a salary of up to £180,000 a year.

Rob Bridge (left) welcomed to his new post in 2017 by Dr Michel Saminaden of Welwyn Hatfield Council.Rob Bridge (left) welcomed to his new post in 2017 by Dr Michel Saminaden of Welwyn Hatfield Council.

Rob Bridge, who until 2017 was finance director of Fenland District Council, is set to be confirmed in the top post at one of the Northamptonshire unitary authorities.

Mr Bridge left Fenland to take over as chief executive of Welwyn Hatfield Council but is expected to be ratified in his post at Northampton that will come into existence next April.

Local councils in Corby, Kettering, East Northants and Wellingborough will then be shut down.

The chief executive roles in Northamptonshire were advertised offering a salary of between £170,000 and £180,000 per year.

Heritage Lottery Fund bid. Wisbech High Street. Left:Philip Venning Heritage lottery fund. Gary Garford FDC corporate director. Cllr David Oliver portfolio holder for heritage,Rob Bridge FDC corporate director. David Crouch and Ray Johnson from the Wisbech society. picture: Steve Williams.Heritage Lottery Fund bid. Wisbech High Street. Left:Philip Venning Heritage lottery fund. Gary Garford FDC corporate director. Cllr David Oliver portfolio holder for heritage,Rob Bridge FDC corporate director. David Crouch and Ray Johnson from the Wisbech society. picture: Steve Williams.

Mr Bridge, corporate director and chief finance officer at Fenland Hall for eight years, has a diploma in management from the Institute of Leadership and Management.

He joined Fenland from South Cambs Council where he had briefly been a corporate finance manager and before that worked briefly for Peterborough City Council as a financial controller.

He had previously worked for HM Prison Service as head of finance and procurement.

The news of his of stepping down from Welwyn came after Hertfordshire County Council announced it was looking at becoming a unitary authority, which would dissolve boroughs like Welwyn.

Welwyn Hatfield Mayor councillor Barbara Fitzsimon and chief executive Rob Bridge each planted a new tree to mark the centenary of Welwyn Garden City in 2020.Welwyn Hatfield Mayor councillor Barbara Fitzsimon and chief executive Rob Bridge each planted a new tree to mark the centenary of Welwyn Garden City in 2020.

In an email to council staff seen by our sister paper The Welwyn Hatfield Times, Mr Bridge said: “It is important to say that my application and assessment started before the recent local government reform debate started in Hertfordshire and I want to be absolutely clear that I haven’t chosen to leave because of this.”

Leader of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Cllr Tony Kingsbury, said: “I have worked very closely with Rob throughout his time at Welwyn Hatfield and I am pleased for him that he is taking on this exciting new challenge. “He has made a big impact in the three years he has been here, and I am grateful to him for the commitment and passion he has brought to the role.” He was singled out for securing a £10.6m investment from Homes England to fund regeneration of Hatfield and Welwyn town centres.

And he oversaw an affordable housing programme that delivered hundreds of new properties for local people on lower incomes, and the first council-built homes in a generation.


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