Jack Brooke-Battersby
By Jack Brooke-Battersby

Senior Staff Writer

4 October 2021

| | 4 min read


Preferred candidate identified for role of Newcastle City Council Chief Executive

Pam Smith will be confirmed as the new Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council this week, subject to the approval of councillors.


Pam Smith set to appointed Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council
Pam Smith set to appointed Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council

Mrs Smith, who is currently the Chief Executive of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, has been unanimously recommended for the position by the member panel seeking a successor to Pat Ritchie, who leaves the authority on October 15.

At Wednesday evening’s meeting of the full council, members will be asked to agree her appointment. Should they approve, it is expected that Mrs Smith will take up her post in early January.

She said: “There are still a few steps to be taken before my appointment is confirmed but I’m really proud to have been given this opportunity to work in a council with a great track record in a fantastic city.

“Newcastle is a city with an incredibly rich history, a proud community and enormous potential, and I can’t wait to get started.

“I’m excited to be a part of Newcastle’s future and I’m looking forward to helping the city build back strongly from the pandemic so it can look ahead with optimism. I want to work with colleagues, residents, businesses and partners to provide opportunities for people of all generations, and create a city that is safe and welcoming with a clean, green environment.”

Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “On behalf of the interview panel, I am delighted to recommend Pam’s appointment as our new Chief Executive. Her extensive knowledge, experience and understanding of how local government operates shone through at every stage of the interviews, and her clear passion for Newcastle and the region means that she is determined to make a difference from day one.

“Pam will be joining us at a challenging but exciting time for Newcastle and the North East. As well as leading us forward in our recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic, she fully understands how critical our plans to reach Net Zero carbon emissions are to our economic future. She has a strong track record of partnership working, including leading on the Green Economy within Greater Manchester, and this knowledge will be essential as we move into the next phase of our work in tackling the climate emergency.

“In addition, I would once again like to express my sincerest gratitude to Pat Ritchie during her final days at Newcastle City Council. She has served with enormous integrity and resolve since her appointment in 2013, and she can be confident she leaves both the city and the council in a stronger place than when she started. I know Pam will build on Pat’s legacy, building on her achievements and bringing new focus to the job in hand.”

Mrs Smith has served as Chief Executive at Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council since September 2017, working closely with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, where she is the lead Chief Executive for Age-Friendly Greater Manchester, Equalities and Green City Region.

She is also a board member of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation and is Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SoLACE) lead for Housing. She was previously the Chief Executive of Burnley Council, Chief Operating Officer of Adviser Plus and has held a number of local government posts across Greater Manchester. 

Subject to her formal appointment, her salary will be in the existing salary range of £172,753 - £188,948 pa.

You can watch Wednesday’s full council meeting from 6pm here.