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Uttlesford District Council appoints Peter Holt as chief executive in succession to Dawn French

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A new chief executive has been appointed to head Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

Peter Holt will oversee the local authority for north-west Essex – including Stansted, Dunmow and Saffron Walden, where its headquarters are in London Road – which employs 330 people. His appointment was confirmed at an extraordinary meeting of the council last Thursday (Sept 9).

He is expected to take up the post of head of paid service and chief executive of the council in early October. The role has a salary of £116,608 to £122,006 plus payments as returning officer for elections. He replaces Dawn French, who stepped down in August after five years in the role.

The new chief executive of Uttlesford District Council is Peter Holt (51191393)
The new chief executive of Uttlesford District Council is Peter Holt (51191393)

A UDC spokesman said Mr Holt had extensive local government and leadership experience, as well as a background in organisational transformation.

He has been an independent strategic consultant since April, having previously been assistant chief executive and deputy monitoring officer for South Northants Council from 2018.

One of his main roles at Uttlesford will be to steer the authority through its latest attempt at securing a Local Plan for the district.

Uttlesford District Council's offices in Saffron Walden (51209455)
Uttlesford District Council's offices in Saffron Walden (51209455)

Council leader John Lodge said: "We had some very strong candidates for the role of chief executive and I am delighted we are offering Peter the position.

"His appointment follows an extremely thorough recruitment process. We are confident he will be an asset to this council and to the residents of the district, and we look forward to having him in post."

The recruitment campaign assessed a large field of candidates. A long-list of eight were put through rigorous assessments, including technical interviews and exercises, before three were chosen to take part in the final interview stage on September 3.

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