Posted: Wednesday 23rd May 2018
John Wood, Chief Executive for Hertfordshire County Council has announced that he will be retiring from his role by the end of March 2019.
Following a successful 39 year career in Local Government, the last 28 of those being at Hertfordshire County Council, John has decided that now is the right time to announce his retirement.
Since joining Hertfordshire County Council in 1991, John has held various roles across the organisation including Principal Engineer for Transport Policy, Head of Forward Planning, Assistant Director of Strategy and Director of Environment, until he was appointed Chief Executive by members in 2012.
Over the last six years in post, John has successfully steered the county council through tough times of austerity and organisational change - he will be greatly missed by officers and members alike.
He said: “It has been an absolute privilege to serve what I regard as the best county council in the country and during my time at Hertfordshire I have worked with some great officers and members. They have placed their faith in me many times and given me some great opportunities for which I am very grateful.
“While there is never a good time to leave, I hope that by going public with my intentions early and sufficiently in advance of the next election, I will enable whoever gets appointed in the new role the chance to really get a feel for the organisation, the county and the challenges we face over the next few years.
“I am as happy and motivated today as I have ever been and with almost a year to go until I depart, I am determined to continue to deliver for the authority and the residents of Hertfordshire to the best of my abilities.”
Leader of the Council, David Williams said:
“I would like to personally thank John for his enormous contribution to the Council and to Hertfordshire over the past 28 years.
“Since becoming Leader of the Council in November, I have valued his support hugely. We have forged an excellent working relationship as we are taking forward the Council’s agenda.
“I am also grateful for the notice period that John has given us. This will enable us to ensure a smooth transition. It also means that we will be able to make full use of John’s experience as we progress a Local Government Association Peer Review in the Autumn that we jointly initiated.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Hertfordshire County Council, Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, said:
“I’ve known John Wood since I became a councillor in 2001 and he has always been very supportive of all councillors, including those within the opposition. John has worked very hard for the county both as Director of Environment and as Chief Executive and his retirement will be a loss to the county council as clearly he has had Hertfordshire’s best interests at heart.
“John will be a hard act to follow, but I am pleased that enough time has been allowed to find a suitable person to take on the new role. I still look forward to working with him over the next 10 months in any event.”
Leader of the Labour group at Hertfordshire County Council, Councillor Judi Billing, said:
“I was personally very sad to hear of John’s retirement although of course it is richly deserved and I wish him the very best for the future. He has been a magnificent Chief Executive who has shown me enormous support, kindness and wisdom since I became a county councillor.”