Hart joint-Chief Executive Patricia Hughes is to step down from her role to “pursue a new chapter in her life”. This leaves Daryl Hughes as the sole Chief Executive as the Council considers working more closely with Rushmoor, potentially sharing a Chief Executive. [Update]: Now announced on Hart’s website[/Update]
The news was announced by Council Leader, David Neighbour in an email. The email lists Ms Hughes’ achievements including delivering the £23m Hart Leisure Centre. However, the email is completely silent when it comes to the Shapley Heath project. The project was led by Ms Hughes and was the subject of a now infamous audit. Following the disastrous findings, Cabinet is conducting a “facilitated reflection” to work out why it all went so wrong. It does look as though that part of Ms Hughes’ career has been swept under the carpet. It is unclear whether her departure is related to the failings of the Shapley Heath project. However, it is certainly possible that she is being made the scapegoat.
What is clear, is that members of the Cabinet still need to face up to their failings on the project. We await the results of the facilitated reflection with interest.
Full Text of the Announcement Email
Joint Chief Executive, Patricia Hughes, will be stepping down from Hart District Council at the end of this week to pursue a new chapter in her life, although she still intends to continue to be involved in local government.
Patricia joined the Council in 2012 initially as a Corporate Director before being appointed as a Joint Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) in 2014. As Joint Chief Executive, Patricia has led on many initiatives including the delivery of the new £23m Hart Leisure Centre, the development of the Council’s 2040 vision and more recently she has been pivotal in the Council meeting the immense challenges presented by COVID-19 global pandemic.
She has also steered the Council’s support to our community and delivered plans that have been of great benefit to our residents and local businesses. She has risen to meet many challenges and leaves the organisation in a strong position for the future.
Patricia Hughes says “It has been an honour and a privilege to work for Hart District Council. The last few years have been a period of exceptional challenge and I am deeply grateful for the incredible commitment and dedication of colleagues who have worked so hard to support our residents and businesses during these unprecedented times. With a clear vision and plan for the future, I wish members and officers well as I move on to the next stage of my career.”
Patricia’s departure will leave Daryl Phillips in the role of Chief Executive, providing continuity and stability for the Council, whilst the Council considers the future.