ROBERT POLLOCK has been appointed as Chief Executive of Cambridge City Council.
Councillors approved his appointment this evening (17 December) at a meeting of the Full Council.
Robert will take over from Andrew Grant who has been leading the council on an interim basis since October.
Robert is currently a Director at Social Finance, a social enterprise that partners with governments, charities and the financial community to develop innovative solutions to entrenched social and economic issues.
He previously held senior roles at HM Treasury and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government during which time he led several strategic initiatives including public service transformation and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.
Robert has also held leadership roles at the United Nations in New York and Westminster City Council.
On being appointed Chief Executive, Robert said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed. It will be a privilege to serve the residents of Cambridge and work with councillors of all parties.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the amazing work of council staff, led by Chief Executive Andrew Grant and Antoinette Jackson before him, to keep services going during the pandemic, provide more than £24 million in grants to business, find emergency accommodation for over 200 people sleeping rough and set up community led hubs to support vulnerable residents across the city.
“We’re all living though difficult and unprecedented times. Cambridge has a resilient economy, an active social sector and many world leading organisations that can support a quicker recovery.
“The council has a critical role to play too. Working with partners and local communities we need to help all residents thrive, enable more inclusive and sustainable growth to reduce inequality and our climate impacts, and deliver more affordable housing.
“I’m looking forward to working on this ambitious agenda and supporting the council to embrace new ways of working so we can live within tight financial constraints.”
Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Council, said: “The city council is pleased to confirm that Robert will be our next Chief Executive from April 2021, following a rigorous process and despite intense competition from an impressive array of public sector leaders across the country.
“Robert brings the depth of skill, searing analysis and determination that our council needs to reshape its delivery and protect priority services for our residents and businesses, in the reduced financial position councils now face.
“Working in tandem with councillors, Robert will lead our dynamic and hugely capable staff and management team through the second half of the pandemic and beyond, to achieve the best for our wonderful city.
“He will build on a strong inheritance, including the valued contributions of both our current and most recent Chief Executives.”
Cllr Herbert added: “I pay public tribute to every member of our devoted council staff this Christmas as they have all delivered in spades for our Cambridge residents and businesses through the toughest year in our lifetimes.
“Together with them and Robert, we will lead Cambridge through the best possible economic recovery in 2021 and 2022, and tackle our twin 2020s challenges of cutting Cambridge inequality and carbon emissions.”
Cllr Tim Bick, Leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat Group, said: “There are plenty of challenges and plenty of opportunities ahead for us in Cambridge, as we rebuild after the pandemic.
“So it’s a critical time to be joining us as our new Chief Executive.
“We are ambitious for our city, for all those who depend on and contribute to it, and for the way it works with our many partners and neighbours. We welcome the useful experience and fresh thinking Robert brings and we very much look forward to working with him.”
Robert came through a rigorous recruitment process to secure the post of Chief Executive and is expected to take up his new post in April of next year.
The multi-faceted process to recruit him was overseen by the council’s Employment (Senior Officer) Committee which is responsible for selecting candidates and making a recommendation to Full Council.
The council’s constitution requires the committee’s recommendation to be approved at a meeting of the Full Council. The committee report is available here: https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=116&MId=4056