Bradford Council is on the verge of selecting Lorraine O’Donnell as its new chief executive, according to sources. Lorraine, who currently holds the position of chief executive at Cheshire East Council, has been identified as the preferred candidate by a cross-party panel. She is expected to replace Kersten England, who announced her retirement earlier this year.
The appointment of Lorraine O’Donnell will be recommended to the full council on 11 July. Following the council’s approval and the completion of standard background checks, a formal appointment will be made.
Lorraine brings a wealth of experience in local government to her potential new role. Before her tenure at Cheshire East, she worked in various authorities in the northeast of England. Her achievements include contributing to the remarkable success of Darlington, which became the highest-performing authority in the country during her tenure. She also played a pivotal role in transforming Durham County Council into Council of the Year within three years of its establishment as one of the largest unitary councils in the country.
Before venturing into local government, Lorraine O’Donnell completed a doctorate in theoretical physics at Oxford University. Her journey as the first person in her family to attend university and the first from her school to secure a place at Oxford has instilled in her a passionate commitment to ensuring that individuals from all backgrounds have the opportunity to achieve their aspirations.
Expressing her delight at Lorraine’s potential appointment, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, stated, “I am delighted that someone of Lorraine’s calibre has been identified as our preferred candidate. The chief executive of Bradford Council is one of the biggest jobs in local government. The chief executive plays a very significant role in contributing to the delivery of the council’s priorities.”
Hinchcliffe further praised Lorraine’s leadership qualities and track record of delivering improvements, highlighting her anticipation of O’Donnell’s valuable contributions to the council’s ambitious plans for the district. She also expressed gratitude to Kersten England for postponing her retirement to facilitate a thorough and competitive recruitment process.
The full council meeting, during which Lorraine O’Donnell’s appointment will be discussed, is scheduled for Tuesday, 11 July, commencing at 4 pm. The meeting can be viewed online at the following link: https://bradford.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/764429