Steve Jorden, Executive Director for Strategy and Commissioning, has recently accepted a senior role with Swindon Borough Council
Members have decided that his position will not immediately be replaced, providing opportunities for other senior officers to take on more responsibilities. Councillors have agreed interim arrangements until May 2019 with Sophie Hosking, the remaining Executive Director, taking on the role of Head of Paid Service. Steve will therefore spend the early weeks of 2018 handing over to Sophie Hosking and the rest of the Senior Leadership Team.
Steve Jorden, Executive Director for Strategy and Commissioning said: "The decision to move on from my role here has not been an easy one by any stretch of the imagination; it's been a real pleasure to work for South Hams and West Devon councils and to guide the staff through the transformation programme. I'm hugely proud of all that we've achieved here together, but equally it's great to know that the councils and the staff are in safe hands for the future."
After joining the council in 2015, Steve and Sophie presided over the most significant reorganisation since both councils were formed over 45 years ago. Known as Transformation18, or simply T18, the restructure saw dramatic changes in working practices at both councils, ultimately saving over £6 million per annum across both councils - without removing any services to customers.
Sophie Hosking, Executive Director for Service Delivery and Commercial Development, said: "It's been both a pleasure and privilege to work with Steve over the last three years, and he should be proud of all he has achieved for South Hams and West Devon. Steve will be very much missed, by colleagues across the whole organisation, but we wish him all the best for the future. Swindon council's gain is most definitely our loss."
During Steve's time at South Hams and West Devon, the councils have been awarded iESE's gold award for Transformational Change and Council of the Year. They were also shortlisted for the LGC (Local Government Chronicle) Business Transformation and Efficiency Awards, as well as the Public Finance Innovation Award.
Cllr John Tucker, Leader of South Hams District Council said: "In 2019, the new councils can look again to see if they would like to continue with a Head of Paid Service or to reinstate the role of Chief Executive, but for now I believe that this is right way forward. Personally I am very sorry to see Mr Jorden go; it has been a pleasure to work with him, but I know that the structure that he and Mrs Hosking have put in place gives us a good foundation as we move forward. I would like to wish Mr Jorden all the best for the future as he takes on his new role."
Cllr Philip Sanders, Leader of West Devon Borough Council said: "Mr Jorden's commitment to both West Devon and South Hams councils has been clear for everyone to see, and he has worked extremely hard to bring us through a challenging period in our history. On a personal level I am sorry to see him go, as I have very much enjoyed working alongside him, but I am confident that the changes implemented by Mr Jorden and Mrs Hosking have been and will continue to be of enormous benefit to both councils."
Steve will be leaving his role at the councils in February 2018, and taking up his new position shortly after.