Third government official appointed to help solve Slough’s problems

SLOUGH’s ‘missing’ chief executive is set to be replaced by a government-appointed candidate while she is ‘away from duty’.

Slough Borough Council today announced that the Department of Levelling, Housing and Communities has appointed Gavin Jones as its third commissioner to help address the council’s financial and governance issues.

The official will temporarily take over the duties of Slough chief executive Josie Wragg while she remains “ill”.

Mr Jones will join Chief Commissioner Max Caller and Finance Commissioner Margaret Lee, who have been in place since December 2021, as Deputy Commissioner.

(left) Maragret Lee, Head of Finance, and Max Caller CBE, Chief Commissioner

He was appointed following a request from the current commissioners and was appointed on the same basis as Mr. Caller and Ms. Lee.

While in Slough, the assistant commissioner will work three days a week and be paid £1,100 a day.

Commissioners will oversee and participate in the Council’s Recovery and Renewal Plan which sets out the work undertaken so far and the work needed to create a sustainable council providing the right services to residents at the right time.

It is understood that the appointment of Mr Jones to oversee and lead the team of board officers will have no impact on the position of chief executive of Slough, whose future position on the board is currently being decided at the following two alleged disciplinary meetings last year.

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The council previously said Josie had been “ill” since November.

Gavin Jones is currently Chief Executive of Essex County Council, where he has served since 2016, after spending 10 years as CEO of Swindon Borough.

He joined local government after working in the commercial sector for much of his career, including in the airline, travel and technology sectors.

He was also chairman of SOLACE – the UK’s leading membership network for public sector and local government professionals – for three years, helping it develop and support leadership across local government. .

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Councilor James Swindlehurst, leader of the council, said: ‘There are still very difficult times ahead of us and we have welcomed the commissioners, their expertise, advice and help and I look forward to meeting Gavin.

“We will continue to work with all commissioners until the issues are fully resolved by all of us.

“Together, we will put the council on a sustainable financial footing, improve our governance and make the right decisions for our residents and our city.”

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