TWO vacant Thurrock Council director posts have been filled following several days of intensive interviewing.
The post of Director of Environment and Place was secured by Steve Cox – formerly the council’s Assistant Chief Executive – and the new Director of Children’s Services will be Rory Patterson, currently Director of Children’s Social Care at Southwark.
Speaking on Monday (7 March), Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: “Steve is a known quantity. He has been with us for several years now and I am confident he will be able to lead in what will be a very interesting and exciting post.
“Environment is always important, getting our bins emptied and our streets and parks cleaned; and Director of Place will mean he can continue the superb work he has been carrying out on regeneration and growth, the devolution agendas and now getting Thurrock’s name out and about for the right reasons.”
He added: “Rory comes from Southwark and will be filling a larger role here in Thurrock. He has ‘big boots’ to fill following in Carmel Littleton’s footsteps, but I am confident he will be working closely with our schools and maintaining our education improvement story as well as leading our safeguarding and social care services.”
Mr Cox joined the council after a successful period as a director at the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and local government in London and the South East.
He has a professional background in planning and transport.
Mr Cox said: ‘Taking on the Environment and Place directorship is a tremendous challenge and something I am really looking forward to. As well as leading on the day-to-day services in Environment I will continue the strategic work on growth and devolution getting the very best deals for Thurrock and working with partners to create a real and exciting sense of place in Thurrock, something that is already growing and prospering here.”
Mr Patterson is a former social worker who has worked in various roles at London councils since 1983. He has worked for Kensington and Chelsea, Wandsworth, Bexley and Bromley before moving to Southwark in 2006.
He said: “I’m delighted to have been offered the opportunity to join Thurrock. It’s exciting to be part of a new team and helping to build on the great work of my predecessor.”
Thurrock Chief Executive, Lyn Carpenter, said: “I am really pleased that the top team is coming together. The appointment of Steve will add extra stability to the team and I am certain he is raring to go, continuing his previous excellent work and taking on the new challenges.
“Rory will bring new blood, and a team always needs that too. I am equally confident he will fit in seamlessly with our children’s care teams and work well with our schools as we continue to co-ordinate and support them.”
Both appointments will go before full council later this month for approval.