At a full council meeting this week, the council voted to appoint Kath O’Dwyer to the role following a rigorous recruitment process. Ms O’Dwyer will take over from temporary Chief Executive Harry Catherall in early Spring.
The appointment is the first of a number of changes to the senior management team, as the council looks to modernise.
Council Leader David Baines said “I am delighted that Kath’s appointment has now been confirmed. She has a wealth of experience in local government and an excellent track record in delivering outstanding public services. Importantly, she’s also a resident of the borough and St Helens through and through. We are very excited to have her on board.
“Kath is joining our council at an important time, and I know she will play a key role in helping us achieve our ambitions and work towards delivering real change for the borough.”
Ms O’Dwyer will join St Helens after holding the position of acting Chief Executive at Cheshire East Council. Prior to that she was Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, as well as previously working for several North West authorities including Warrington, Halton, Knowsley, Rochdale and St Helens borough councils.
On accepting her new appointment, Kath O’Dwyer said “I am delighted to have been appointed to the role of Chief Executive at St Helens Council.
“This is a really exciting opportunity to make a real difference in the borough that I am proud to call my home. I have lived in St Helens for most of my life, it is where I have grown up, raised my own family and indeed where I worked in my early local government career.
“I am looking forward to working with the elected members, staff and partners in leading the council on its improvement journey and realising its ambitions for the residents and communities of the borough.”