Headlines: February 8th, 2006

The Local Government Association has named its new chief executive. He is Paul Coen, currently the chief executive of Essex County Council. So far no date has been set for his move to the LGA , where he will replace Sir Brian Briscoe.The LGA said that Mr. Coen was appointed by a panel made up of its chairman, Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, vice chair Sir Jeremy Beecham and other senior members. They had interviewed an exceptional field of candidates.

Announcing the appointment, Sir Sandy said, “At a key moment for local government and the LGA, we have appointed from among the brightest and best in the public sector. We are sure that this appointment will be keenly welcomed across local government, and we look forward to Paul providing outstanding leadership of the LGA. His highly successful background in local government and the coal industry means that he not only has a profound understanding of our sector but has also gained invaluable experience in other fields.”

The search to find a successor to Sir Brian Briscoe began in early January, when he stated his intention to step down in the Spring after ten years in the job, including overseeing the merger of the Association of County Councils, the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and Association of District Councils to form the Local Government Association as the single representative body for English local authorities in April 1997. Sir Brian will remain at the helm until Mr. Coen’s arrival.