Key director role filled

Paul Lawrence was today appointed as Executive Director – Place for the City of Edinburgh Council.

Paul Lawrence

Councillors unanimously agreed a report recommending his appointment at this morning's council meeting.

He will be responsible for the development and delivery of frontline services across the city as part of the role, created under the Council’s new organisational structure.

The post is accountable for a range of major council services including travel and transport, housing, planning, waste and recycling and street cleansing.

Council Leader, Andrew Burns, chaired the Recruitment Committee. He said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Lawrence as Executive Director – Place. The calibre of applicant for the role was exceptionally strong and I am certain that we have chosen the right candidate for this new and important position.

“This is a key role for the city that will oversee essential services such as roads and pavements, street cleansing, refuse collection and housing – services that affect all residents in the city.  

“There is no doubting the challenges that lie ahead, as we face increasing financial pressures and demand for services. But I am confident that Paul brings with him the experience and skills to help ensure the best way forward for the Council.”

Andrew Kerr, Council Chief Executive, added: “The Council is set to undergo significant changes as we strive to create a more efficient and effective organisation, improving services as well as making cost savings.

“Strong leadership is crucial to achieving a smooth transition while continuing to serve the people who live in, work in and visit Edinburgh. I look forward to working closely with Paul Lawrence to build on previous successes and to help shape the future of Scotland’s capital.”

Paul Lawrence began his local government career as arts director for Durham City Council before moving to Northern Arts as assistant chief executive in 1997. He went on to spend 10 years at Newcastle City Council as Head of Culture and later Assistant Chief Executive, where he played a central role in the city’s cultural regeneration and led on a number of economic development projects, including the Science City development.

His most recent position, as Corporate Director, Place, at Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, has involved responsibility for the borough’s ‘Place’ services including waste and recycling, planning, transport and housing. Since joining the council in 2010, Paul has led on the development of new models of citizen engagement and service delivery throughout the borough, as well as overseeing corporate transformation and future strategy as part of the Corporate Leadership team.

Mr Lawrence's start date will be announced in due course.

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