Wakefield chief exec set to replace Manchester's Bernstein

Manchester City Council will have to cut nearly 600 jobs as it looks to save £59m in 2015-16.

Manchester City Council is set to appoint Wakefield's Joanne Roney as its new chief executive, replacing Sir Howard Bernstein.

Sir Howard is retiring next year after 18 years as chief executive, having joined the council as a junior clerk in 1971.

Roney joined Wakefield in 2008. She has helped to deliver a number of major regeneration projects, including a new railway station, the Trinity Walk Shopping Centre and the Wakefield One development, which houses a number of council services and a public library.

Wakefield has also introduced a local living wage, reduced unemployment and decreased the number of looked-after children.

She was awarded an OBE for services to local government in 2009.

Earlier this year, Wakefield's Peer Review Challenge praised the council's strong leadership and found it to be high performing and ambitious.

Roney's recommended appointment at Manchester is subject to formal confirmation by councillors.

"I'm honoured to be in line for the role of chief executive at Manchester City Council, it is an opportunity I cannot pass up. Manchester is a vibrant city and it is an exciting time to be part of transforming public services and being part of the Greater Manchester Devolution agenda," she said.

"I know the fantastic team in Wakefield will continue to realise the vision and ambitions for the district, and enjoy every success in doing so."

Cllr Peter Box OBE, leader of Wakefield Council, said: "Working with Joanne over the past eight years has been a joy. Her unfaltering commitment and enthusiasm to improving public services for the district's residents is evident by what we have achieved.  She has a strong track record of transformation and I am immensely grateful for the work she has done in supporting both myself, officers and members. 

"I personally want to wish Joanne every success in her new role in Manchester and am sure she will have a hugely positive impact. Wakefield is going to miss her."