Debbie Warren named as Greenwich Council’s chief executive

Greenwich Council sign
Warren has already worked as the council’s finance chief

Greenwich Council’s finance boss Debbie Warren will become its new chief executive after a council meeting next week, making her the most powerful officer at Woolwich Town Hall.

Warren has already been holding the post on a temporary basis following the retirement of her predecessor John Comber, who stepped down last summer.

Her salary for the job, in charge of one of south-east London’s biggest employers with a budget of hundreds of millions of pounds, will be between £194,580 and £202,900.

The appointment was made following an interview panel last week and will be ratified by councillors at next Wednesday’s full council meeting. It is the second time Greenwich has chosen an internal candidate for the top job since the departure of Mary Ney, sidekick to former leader Chris Roberts, in 2014.

It had been thought by some that it would choose an outside candidate as an attempt to purge the notoriously insular culture at a council which continually refers to itself as “the Royal Borough” to a greater level than even Kensington & Chelsea, which also has the courtesy title from the Queen.

But Warren is well-liked across the council and is respected for her handling of the council’s finances during a time of unprecedented cuts in government funding.

Her close working relationship with leader Danny Thorpe means that she is likely to avoid the fate of Ian Thomas, the chief executive of Lewisham who lasted just seven months in the job after new elected mayor Damien Egan said he wanted to take Greenwich’s neighbouring council in “a new direction”.

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