Liverpool City Council unveils its new chief executive

Andrew Lewis

Liverpool City Council has made its third key appointment in a matter of days with Andrew Lewis taking the role of chief executive.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, made the announcement at a meeting of full council last night (March 1), where the appointment was endorsed.

On February 28, Sophie Bevan was named as the city’s new director of development and major projects. This followed the appointment of Nuala Gallagher as corporate director of city development on February 22.

The appointments are part of a reorganisation of the council’s senior team following the resignation of former chief executive Tony Reeves in July 2022, and the appointment of government commissioners to oversee some functions of the local authority in June 2021.

Mr Lewis, 53, joins the council from Cheshire West and Chester Council, where he has been chief executive since 2018.

Cheshire West and Chester is recognised as one of the country’s most effective councils, and a partner with Liverpool on issues such as transport, low carbon industry and health integration.

Prior to his current role, he was the first managing director of the Tees Valley Combined Authority from 2016-2018. He was assistant chief executive at Newcastle Council from 2010.

Before moving into local government, he worked as a senior economic advisor at the Treasury, working on employment, tax and international policy. He was seconded as deputy regional director of the Government Office for the North East and led the Northern Way partnership to promote economic growth across the North.

He will take up the post early in the summer.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “Andrew Lewis has a strong track record working across all areas of local, regional and national government throughout his career, and I am delighted to announce his appointment.

“He has a clear vision to deliver on our ambition of transformed public services, with residents at the heart of our decision making.

“This is a key moment in our improvement journey, building on the progress we have made over the last 18 months.”

Lead commissioner, Mike Cunningham, said: “Andrew Lewis impressed all of those involved in the selection process with his clarity, his determination, his commitment to public service and his wealth of experience.

“I really look forward to him joining Liverpool City Council and working with him to continue to build on the improvements that we’re already beginning to see.”

Andrew Lewis said: “Liverpool City Council is at an important staging post in its journey of improvement, and I’m proud to take on this responsibility to support the council and the city at this critical time.

“Liverpool is such a great global city, and its people deserve the very best from their council.

“There is so much goodwill and commitment to build upon, from councillors, staff and partners, and I am confident we can make greater progress together.

The then Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, decided to send in independent commissioners to Liverpool City Council improve the running of the local authority following publication of the Max Caller report in March of 2021 into how the council was being run following the arrest of five people linked to a Police investigation.

Mr Jenrick said the report outlined “multiple apparent failures” within the Labour-run authority which he said paints a “deeply concerning picture” with a “pervasive and rotten culture”.

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