Rotherham announces preferred candidate for Chief Exec role

Published Thursday, 12th November 2015
Preferred candidate Sharon Kemp
Sharon Kemp

A selection panel at Rotherham Council has announced the preferred candidate for the role of the organisation’s new Chief Executive.

Following a nationwide advertising campaign and rigorous assessment process, Sharon Kemp, currently Strategic Director (Reform) at Manchester City Council, was chosen by an all-party selection panel following final interviews yesterday (November 11).

Normal local government procedures would require such a nomination to be ratified by a meeting of the Full Council, but under the terms of the legal Directions currently in place in Rotherham, the appointment of the Council Chief Executive is a decision which can be taken by Commissioners. 

As a courtesy, however, Lead Commissioner Sir Derek Myers, has written to all elected members to seek comments on the selection and advice on any reasons why a formal offer of appointment should not be made. They have until the end of Monday (November 16) to respond.

Sharon has been both an Assistant Chief Executive and Strategic Director at the City of Manchester since 2009 and before that was for two years at the London Borough of Haringey as Assistant Chief Executive in the aftermath of the Baby P case. 

Prior to that, she was for six years in Blackburn with Darwen, working in Regeneration, and before that worked in Community Safety. She started her career with Greater Manchester Police. 

Said Sharon: "The last six years at Manchester City Council have been challenging but rewarding as I've worked with colleagues to help the organisation and its partners adapt to new ways of working to mitigate the impact of funding reductions, while seizing the opportunities associated with reformed services and devolution. 

“I believe this experience, allied with what I learned in my previous roles, will equip me for this new role and - subject to it being confirmed - I look forward to taking it on and working with the team at Rotherham Council to make a positive difference." 

Sharon was born and lives in Lancashire. Outside of work, she runs and climbs hills; is a volunteer trustee for the YMCA in Manchester and a school governor. She has an Honours Degree in Public Administration.

Subject to a formal offer being made and accepted, it is hoped that Sharon will join the Council on 1 March 2016.