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Council Chief Executive announces retirement

Article By: West Dunbartonshire Council

West Dunbartonshire Council’s Chief Executive David McMillan has announced his intention to retire when his contract ends, and will leave the Council later this year after leading the organisation since 2006.

Mr McMillan, who has worked in the public sector for 32 years, is responsible for approximately 6,000 staff and has successfully overseen a significant period of change culminating in the Council bouncing back from criticism to receive a series of favourable reports by official auditors.

During his five years in charge Mr McMillan introduced a streamlined Corporate Management Team made up of four Executive Directors, which has been credited with providing the Council with much improved leadership. He also oversaw the creation of a successful Community Planning Partnership and one of Scotland’s first Community Health and Care Partnership’s, which brought the Council and NHS together within a single structure.

Despite the major reductions in funding grants to local authorities in recent years, under Mr McMillan’s guidance West Dunbartonshire has managed to avoid compulsory redundancies as well as many of the major cuts to services that other Councils have been forced to take. These successes were recognised in his most recent personal review where the Recruitment and Performance Committee rated his performance as ‘exceptional’.

Mr McMillan said “I have really enjoyed working for West Dunbartonshire Council and leading such a dedicated group of staff, however after 15 years of service, five of them as Chief Executive, I feel that the time is right for me to take this step.

"Throughout my time in charge I have worked tirelessly to ensure that this Council provides the best possible value for money to its residents, and that we did everything we could to make West Dunbartonshire as successful as possible. I am proud that I leave the Council in the best financial position it has ever achieved with reserves exceeding prudential targets.

“I would like to thank all the staff, elected members and partner agencies who I have worked with during this time for their support and enthusiasm. Although I will be retiring to enjoy a quieter life and spend more time with my family, I will continue to take a strong interest in the future of local government and contribute to its future in any way that I can."

Councillor Ronnie McColl, Council leader, today paid tribute to Mr McMillan: “David has dedicated his life to public service, ensuring that residents get value for money and that vulnerable citizens are protected. West Dunbartonshire has greatly benefited from his leadership, and with him at the helm we have always punched above our weight on the national stage.

“He has got to grips with a range of problems this Council faced and his successor will inherit a more streamlined, better led and innovative Council. We wish him all the best in the future.”

Councillor Martin Rooney, leader of the Labour Group, added: “My Labour colleagues and I have always had an excellent relationship with David McMillan and we will all be sorry that he has decided it was time for him to leave. On a professional level David has provided West Dunbartonshire Council with the effective strategic leadership which the council had previously lacked and has been instrumental in the Council’s Modernisation Programme. I wish him all the best for the future and hope that he will continue to be involved with the people of West Dunbartonshire.''

Work to recruit a new Chief Executive will begin this month with a cross-party group of councillors making the final decision in late summer or early autumn. It is hoped that the new Chief Executive will be in post as soon as possible to give him or her the opportunity to influence the budget process and prepare for the 2012 Scottish local elections.

A paper setting out the retirement and succession arrangements was considered by the Council's Recruitment Committee on 30 June 2011.