Nottingham City Council chief executive quits

Mel Barrett

The chief executive of troubled Nottingham City Council is set to leave the authority.

Barrett has announced he is leaving to take up a new role as chief executive of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, one of the largest housing associations in the country.

Barrett joined the council in September 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. He has recently had to deal with the challenge of a Government-appointed Improvement and Assurance Board and most recently Commissioners.

He said: “The job is not yet done and we know that the pace of improvement will increase, however progress made in a number of key areas including supporting vulnerable children, becoming a more open and transparent organisation and continuing to work with others to support the vibrancy and dynamism of our city and improve the life chances of our citizens despite the continuing financial challenges faced by local government.

“Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing is one of the largest and most innovative housing associations in the country, operating in London, the South East, the East Midlands and the East of England. The organisations that now form MTVH were founded in the 1950s to provide safe and affordable homes for the Windrush Generation of Caribbean people who came to rebuild Britain after the war.

“This is the generation of my parents who both have recently passed away, and this founding purpose of MTVH has provided strong personal motivation for me to join the organisation and to be part of shaping its future, being mindful that I will be standing on the shoulders of those that have gone before.”

The outgoin leader of Nottingham City Council, councillor David Mellen, said: “I would like to thank Mel for all of his work and dedication since he joined the council in 2020. He became Chief Executive at a difficult time, in the middle of the Covid pandemic and when we faced significant challenges as a council.

“He has used his knowledge and experience of local government to lead our journey of improvement and make important changes to the way we work. I am confident that he has created the right foundation for us to continue to build on in Nottingham. I wish him every success for the future.”

Lead Commissioner Tony McArdle said: “Since arriving at the council a few weeks ago, the Commissioner team has had a very positive relationship with Mel, working together with him to plan the further improvements needed at the council. We all wish Mel well for the future as he continues his long and distinguished career in public service.”

Discussions will take place between the Commissioners, Executive councillors and senior officers on what arrangements will be put in place in relation to the chief executive role.

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