Fiona McMillan has been appointed as the first joint Director of Legal and Governance Services for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Councils, following Full Council and Cabinet approval this week.
This joint post, which was advertised nationally, continues the successful arrangement between the two councils to share senior roles across the senior and corporate leadership teams where this delivers benefit for both authorities – with Gillian Beasley appointed as the two council’s joint Chief Executive in 2015 and also having a joint Director of Public Health, Liz Robin and Executive Director of People and Community Services, Wendi Ogle-Welbourn.
Since December 2017 Fiona has been acting as Director of Law and Governance at Peterborough City Council (PCC) and since April 2018 acting Monitoring Officer at Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) – seconded to both from her role as District Head of Law from LGSS Law (Local Government Shared Services).
Fiona is a qualified barrister and an experienced advisor on local government law including employment, contracts & procurement, housing, planning, licensing, environmental health & elections who has also previously worked as a monitoring officer for South Cambridgeshire District Council.
Cllr Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “I am delighted that our shared service approach is allowing us to appoint someone of Fiona’s calibre to this joint role. This extends an approach which is already working well across both councils, and has been proved to be of benefit to the council, and ultimately the people we serve. At the joint Member appointment panel – working with our colleagues in Peterborough - we were happy and unanimous in our decision.”
Cllr John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “Fiona brings vast experience and expertise to this vitally important role and I welcome her appointment. The financial challenges that we are facing are well documented and that is why we are sharing services with nearby authorities like Cambridgeshire County Council. It is an approach that is already bearing fruit by driving forward efficiencies and helping us to protect vital services.”
The new arrangement will secure both councils’ access to high level in-house legal support at director level. The new shared role delivers a joint saving across both authorities in the region of £75K a year.