Greater Manchester names Simpson ‘preferred’ CEO

Caroline Simpson

Caroline Simpson is poised to lead the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) into the next phase of the city-region’s devolution plans as the preferred candidate for the role of group chief executive.

The Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) Chief Executive has been selected as “preferred candidate” by an appointment panel comprising the Mayor of Greater Manchester and seven local authority leaders.

“Her recommendation follows an intensive recruitment process that began when the current Chief Executive, Eamonn Boylan, announced his intention to retire after the forthcoming Mayoral elections,” said GMCA.

“She would join the GMCA – which also includes Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) – and TfGM from Stockport, where she oversaw a major £1 bn transformation of the town centre, spearheaded the borough’s development, regeneration, planning and transport agenda, and led the delivery and reform of frontline place management and property services throughout her eight years at the council.

“She would also bring a wealth of public sector experience to the role, with a career spanning local government, housing, and regional development agencies in the North West and West Midlands.

“Her career started in the City of Liverpool delivering community-based regeneration projects, with a particular focus on work and skills.”

Simpson said: “Greater Manchester has cemented its position as the leading city-region when it comes to English devolution.

“That didn’t happen by accident, but is the result of the vision, the values, and the courage of civic leaders here to do things differently and put power back into the hands of our people and places.

“Our city-region is now on the cusp of transformational change – and my priority is to catalyse the collaboration and the partnerships that are essential to driving that change, whether that be on the local, national, or international stage.

“I am passionate about Greater Manchester’s devolution journey and our commitment to make this a greener, fairer, more prosperous city-region. It would be a privilege to work alongside local leaders and our communities to deliver that vision, and I’m excited to get on with the job.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:  “This is a role that comes with considerable expectations, and we were left in no doubt that Caroline is more than ready to meet them. She is one of the most outstanding members of a new generation of local government leaders, and a strong advocate for our city-region.

“She is highly capable and brings huge energy to everything she does. We would be delighted to have her leading Greater Manchester into an exciting new era.”