Midlothian councillors have approved the appointments of Kevin Anderson and Fiona Robertson as the new executive directors of place and children, young people and partnerships respectively.
The new appointments are part of a senior leadership restructure, which will see three directorates reduced to two new ones, and eight head of service roles removed and replaced with four chief officers posts. At a time of severe budget restraints, the restructure will also save in excess of £300,000.
Kevin Anderson is currently acting director resources at Midlothian Council, while Fiona Robertson is the head of education and children’s services at East Lothian Council.
The new posts follow the recent appointment of Morag Barrow as joint director, health and social care.
Council leader, Councillor Derek Milligan, congratulated the successful applicants.
He said: “A cross party working group agreed to appoint Kevin and Fiona as our two new executive directors.
“We’re really looking forward to working with them. These are key strategic roles heading new directorates, with services grouped under people and partnerships and place.
“The new structure will allow us to work as ‘One Council’, helping break down silos, cutting bureaucracy and making sure our citizens really are at the heart of everything we do.”
The successful candidates for the chief officers’ posts will be announced in coming weeks.
The senior management review was approved in June 2019 as part of the council’s medium term financial strategy.
Cllr Milligan said: “We’re the fastest growing local authority in Scotland so at a time of increasing demand for our services and severe budget constraints, we need motivated, enthusiastic and forward-looking individuals who can help ensure Midlothian is ‘A Great Place to Grow’. Kevin and Fiona are, therefore, ideal.
“And while the review makes sense strategically, it’s also a reflection of how we’re listening to the needs of local people.
“Cutting management costs was high on the list of how local communities wanted us to tackle the significant budget gap. The review, when completed, will save us more than £300,000.”
Kevin Anderson joined the council in 2010 as head of housing and community safety. He then took up the post of head of customer and housing services. He is currently the acting director of resources. Mr Anderson will be Executive director of place.
He said: “I am pleased to be given this opportunity in the reorganisation of the council’s services, to deliver the place principles in Midlothian for sustainable and inclusive growth for our people and communities at a local level, particularly in improving the life circumstances for our most vulnerable citizens.”
Ms Robertson is currently head of education and children’s services in East Lothian and a former HMIe Inspector. Ms Robertson will be executive director for children, young people and partnerships and chief education officer.
She said: “It has been a privilege to work as head of education and children’s services within East Lothian Council and to lead education, East Lothian works and, recently, children’s services.
“I look forward to working closely with Midlothian Council members, colleagues and communities, continuing partnerships in this key area of the council’s work, and making a difference for families and learners across Midlothian.”