County chief heading to Westminster

MIKE More is leaving his job as head of Suffolk County Council to take charge of one of England's leading and most influential local authorities.He has been appointed chief executive of the London borough of Westminster, with effect from next April, having been Suffolk's chief officer for more than five years, during which time he was head of the 24,000 salaried full and part time staff.

SUFFOLK County Council chief Mike More is leaving his job as head of the council to take charge of one of England's leading and most influential local authorities.

He has been appointed chief executive of the London borough of Westminster, with effect from next April, having been Suffolk's chief officer for more than five years, during which time he was head of the 24,000 salaried full and part time staff.

Formerly Suffolk's director of resource management from 1999, Mr More, who is 52, started his local government career with Cambridgeshire County Council in 1986. He became chief executive of Suffolk in November 2002 following the departure to Birmingham of Lin M Homer, who has since moved on to become head of the immigration and asylum directorate at the Home Office.

Mr More leaves Suffolk at a time of great change in local government in the county. It is expected that the House of Commons will today approve orders making Ipswich a unitary authority, allowing it to break away from control of the county council.

He said: “I will be very sorry to leave Suffolk at a time of both great opportunity and challenge. I am very proud of all the staff at the county council who have strived so hard to improve the way local government works in Suffolk.

“I have seen major changes for the better in my eight years here and I know this work will continue.”

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Jeremy Pembroke, Tory leader of the county council, said: “Since 2005 local government, not least in Suffolk, has been under tremendous pressure for resources and service demand. Without Mike's strong managerial leadership and vision we could not have achieved so much. His work has been recognised by Suffolk becoming a top performing, four star authority.”

The Westminster job is recognised in the capital as second only to the head of the Greater London Authority. It's deputy leader is Colin Barrow, formerly a leading member of Suffolk's Tories when the party was in opposition.

A spokesman for the city said the remuneration package for Mr More had yet to be finalised, although the outgoing chief executive's salary is around £200,000 a year.

Mr More, who has a PhD in philosophy, lives in Ipswich. His wife Sue is a teacher and the couple have two sons.

He lists his interests as supporting Arsenal FC, cycling with his wife, looking at pictures - both photographs and paintings - reading, and listening to music.

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