Councils approve Chris Sinnott as next chief executive across South Ribble and Chorley

21 April 2022

Chris, who has served as Deputy Chief Executive of both authorities since 2019, will succeed incumbent Gary Hall when he takes early retirement at the end of this year.

The appointment was approved by full council at Chorley on Tuesday (19 April) and South Ribble on Wednesday (20 April) and follows a rigorous internal recruitment process involving elected members, stakeholders, partners and staff.

Chris, 39, said: “I’m really excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to serve the two councils as Chief Executive.

“It’s my passionate belief that local government and wider public services can massively improve people’s lives, so I’m looking forward to working with everyone to ensure that both councils are able to deliver the very best services for residents.”

Chris began his career at Denbighshire County Council as a graduate trainee on the National Graduate Development Programme and gained further experience at Blackpool Council before joining Chorley Council in 2010.

As Deputy Chief Executive he has led the expansion of the shared services relationship between the two councils so that it now encompasses nearly half the workforce – saving the councils more than £1m per year between them while also improving service delivery. He also leads on partnership working for the councils, supporting public services to improve and work together for the benefit of residents.

Councillor Paul Foster, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “This was an incredibly important decision for the council and it was absolutely of the utmost importance that we found the right person for the job, as we continue to build on the vast improvements that have been made over the last few years.

“After a robust and thorough recruitment process, we’re pleased to say Chris emerged as the unanimous choice. Chris has a thorough understanding of local government and public services, and of the borough of South Ribble, and is therefore well placed to deliver on the needs and expectations of our residents.”

Chris’s appointment ensures there will be a smooth transition when Gary Hall retires on December 31 this year.

Gary has been chief executive of Chorley Council for 11 years and also took the helm at South Ribble in May 2019, initially on an interim basis before being handed a two-year fixed term contract in January 2021 as the two authorities continued to work together more closely – enabling them to continue improving services despite cuts to funding from central government.

Gary Hall said: “I’m tremendously proud of what both councils have achieved over the last few years, particularly over the course of the pandemic, and as we look to the future it’s important that there’s an element of continuity to build on our successes.

“Chris, like me, is immensely passionate about the role local councils can play in improving people’s lives – particularly in such testing circumstances – and I believe he is the ideal person to take us forward and ensure we continue to deliver the very best services for our residents.”

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