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Tributes paid to Cambridgeshire County Council's outgoing chief executive

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Tributes have been paid to Cambridgeshire County Council’s outgoing chief executive Gillian Beasley who is retiring from the role at the end of the month.

During a meeting of the council's strategy and resources committee held at New Shire Hall yesterday (Friday), councillors from all parties paid tribute to Gillian and her sterling work.

Gillian has been chief executive of Cambridgeshire County Council since 2015 and is stepping down after nearly 40 years of public service.

Tributes paid to outgoing Chief Executive Gillian Beasley. (53804988)
Tributes paid to outgoing Chief Executive Gillian Beasley. (53804988)

Beginning as director of law and administration, she was appointed as Chief Executive of Peterborough City Council in 2002. Her appointment as Chief Executive of both authorities in 2015 was the first of its kind at the time.

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Gillian has led Cambridgeshire through some very difficult times, with incredible grace and skill. Her quiet sense of what the key priorities should be at each new stage of the pandemic has been deeply impressive and has allowed all communities and partners to work together effectively.

“She has been a thoughtful and trusted colleague for both all members of this council, of whatever party, and for partner councils and their officers. The warmth and respect felt towards Gillian by her colleagues in other councils has really struck me. I am personally deeply grateful for the support and advice Gillian has given me and I know just how much we will miss her.”

Cllr Elisa Meschini, leader of the council’s Labour group, said: “As a relatively new councillor and group leader, I’m not sure how easy it would have been for me to get to where I am today without Gillian. She was there by my side from day one, delivering encouragement and support as I embarked on one of the most important and challenging things I have ever done in my political life, namely stepping up to administration. I owe her a very personal debt and I know many other councillors do as well.”

Councillor Tom Sanderson, leader of the council’s Independent group, said: “I can’t emphasise enough how much I have appreciated Gillian’s guidance and counsel during the four and a half years I’ve been on the council. She has always been approachable and calm, giving excellent advice and assistance. She has also managed a really good team of officers who are much the same in their approach. I hope she enjoys a well deserved retirement."

Cllr Steve Count, leader of the council’s Conservative group, said: “I don’t know if Gillian has her own personal time machine that can somehow compress two hours into one, but I do know the output of her efforts were phenomenal by anyone’s standards.

“Leading from the front during the pandemic and still even now, Gillian showed what it truly meant to be a public servant, and that was very simply “to serve the public.”

You can watch the meeting back on the council's Youtube channel here

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