New Senior Leadership Team for Hartlepool Borough Council

Published Thursday, 11th June 2020

A new Senior Leadership Team for Hartlepool Borough Council has been announced.

Earlier this year, Gill Alexander announced she was to retire following five-years as Chief Executive. However this was delayed following the outbreak of COVID-19 and Gill has played a critical role in leading the emergency response to the pandemic both in Hartlepool and the North East.

A meeting of Full Council has now agreed a restructure and approved the appointment of Denise McGuckin as the Council’s Managing Director, Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer for Elections.

The changes proposed are estimated to offer the Council an annual recurring saving of approximately £56,000.

During her time as Chief Executive of Hartlepool Borough Council, Gill Alexander has delivered major improvements which has resulted in all services being rated good and outstanding and also winning a number of national awards for innovation.

She has also overseen major investment into the regeneration of Seaton Carew, Church Street and Church Square and recently secured over £55m to invest in the next stage of renewal which will deliver new leisure facilities, a film and TV studio, improved cultural venues and – working in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy – a visitor attraction of national significance.

Ms Alexander – who has worked in the public sector for over 40 years – said: “Hartlepool is a remarkable borough with a great team working across council services.

“It has been a huge privilege and honour to serve as the Council’s Chief Executive during these landmark years in the borough’s history.

“The past few months have been extraordinary and challenging as we have had to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as a country and a Borough.  

“I have been incredibly proud of and thankful for the way Council staff, our elected members, our communities and partners have collaborated to protect the vulnerable, stop the spread of the virus and keep our community running."

Gill Alexander

Gill Alexander

“We entered the pandemic from a position of strength and I know that, although we face difficult times ahead, by continuing to collaborate the Council can help shape an exciting future for the Borough of Hartlepool.

"I’m confident Denise McGuckin will maintain this momentum and do a fantastic job driving forward one of the smallest and most efficient leadership arrangements in the region.

“Denise’s experience as Chair of the Cleveland Local Resilience Forum – a regional multi-agency group – will also stand her in good stead.”

Mrs McGuckin is currently the Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods at Hartlepool Borough Council and will take up her new post on Monday 7th September.

Councillor Shane Moore, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “Gill has served Hartlepool brilliantly and has helped lead the Borough through some difficult years and despite the challenges we face, I know we have a good foundation for moving forward.

“I would also like to congratulate Denise on her new appointment. Whilst COVID-19 has had a major impact on the Borough, I believe we are in a strong position to tackle the challenges we face and direct and attract investment in shaping an exciting future.

“I look forward to working with Denise on the next phase of our plan to transform the Borough.

“Denise has played a critical role in delivering the regeneration of Hartlepool and her appointment to this new role will mean that we can maintain momentum in delivering on our ambitious plans for the town.”

Commenting on her appointment Denise McGuckin – who started working at the organisation as a Special Projects Officer in 1996 and became Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods in 2012 – aid: “I am honoured to take up the new positon of Managing Director at Hartlepool Borough Council and I’m really looking forward to working with all staff and Elected Members to ensure we continue to deliver excellent services to people across the Borough.

“I’d also like to place on record my thanks to Gill for her leadership over the past five years and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build on her excellent work.”

Denise McGukin

Denise McGuckin

Tony Hanson, the Council’s current Assistant Director for Neighbourhood services, will take on a wider strategic leadership role and become Director of Neighbourhoods and Regulatory Services.

Kieran Bostock will become the Assistant Director for Place Management with responsibility for Environmental Services, Building Design and Construction and Highways and Transport.

Sylvia Pinkney will become the Assistant Director for Regulatory Services with responsibility for community safety and enforcement, public protection and emergency planning.