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Luton Borough Council

21/01/2021 - New management structure at Luton Council to lead Luton 2020-2040 vision

Luton Council has restructured its senior management team to direct its focus on its flagship Luton 2020-2040 vision – A place to thrive and where no one will live in poverty.

​The emphasis on the Luton 2040 vision has become ever more important as the council deals with and prepares its response to the negative economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Luton 2020-2040 is built around a unifying mission to make it a healthy, fair and sustainable town where everyone can thrive and no-one has to live in poverty.

The council has worked in consultation with hundreds of residents and partners to shape this ambitious and inclusive vision to eradicate poverty in the town.

It has also been shaped significantly by the Covid-19 pandemic, with immediate priorities focussed on ensuring a strong economic recovery and protecting the most disadvantaged.

The management restructure was agreed in last July’s emergency budget - and completed in December - in response to the chronic financial challenges brought about by the sudden loss of income from the wholly- council owned London Luton Airport. The measure has made savings of £500,000.

The council has been reorganised into three main departments – Population Well-being, Inclusive Economy and Children, Families and Education. Most corporate services have been moved to the chief executive’s department. There has also been a reduction in the number of service directors from 18 to 15.

Among the changes has been current Director of Population Well-being Laura Church becoming the council’s Deputy Chief Executive – a post which does not involve any additional salary.

Laura has been with the council for more than 30 years, having first joined the planning service and going on to hold a variety of posts, including head of regeneration, service director for business and consumer Services, before becoming corporate director for place and infrastructure in September 2015. She also had a stint as Interim Chief Executive following the departure of Trevor Holden in 2018.

Council Leader Hazel Simmons MBE said: “The emergency budget set out the savings which we needed to ensure the council put itself in a strong position to deal with the financial challenges brought upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This process has enable us to refocus on the council’s key priorities and the Luton 2020-2040 vision that threads through everything we do as a council.”

Laura said: “I am very excited by this opportunity and look forward to working closely with the senior management team and staff who have shown incredible resilience throughout the pandemic.

“This past year has been one of the toughest for all of us and while my immediate focus will remain on the new Population Wellbeing directorate – particularly as we continue the battle to bring Covid-19 under control in Luton – the role of Deputy Chief Executive will offer consistent and clear leadership as we develop the Luton 2040 programme over the coming years. I also hope that my appointment continues to be an inspiration to others as an example of ‘grow your own’.”

Nicola Monk, who was previously the council’s Corporate Director for Customer and Commercial, is now Corporate Director – Inclusive Economy. Nicola has worked for Luton Council for more than 21 years. Her role oversees a range of services from infrastructure and neighbourhood services, to economic and sustainable development as well as responsibility for customer services, transformation, ICT and human resources.

She said: “I’m really excited about the new role – our frontline services are at the heart of the council’s 2020- 2040 vision and make a visible difference to people’s lives and our environment. Through our Future Ready transformation programme we will be seeking further improvements to our systems and processes which underpin our service delivery. It’s a privilege to work in Luton with such a fantastic team.”

Lucy Hubber has also been confirmed as the new Director of Public Health, leading the council’s response to the biggest health emergency for more than a generation and having statutory responsibility for health and wellbeing of the population of Luton. Lucy joined the council in 2018 as a consultant in public health, leading on health improvement, libraries and leisure facilities and children’s commissioning.  She has more than 25 years of public sector experience, having previously led NHS commissioning for children and young people in Milton Keynes.

Lucy is a keen advocate of public health communication and increasing the understanding of the role we all have in improving health and wellbeing.  She is an honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford and supports the public health programme at the University of Buckingham. 

Lucy said: “I am incredibly proud to have been appointed as Director of Public Health.  Leading the response to the pandemic has shown me the incredible team work across the council and the amazing kindness and spirit of our communities. Covid has changed many people’s lives and shown us the stark disparities in health and opportunity among our population.  I look forward to working together to improve the health of our population.”

Graham Olver has taken over as chief executive of the council’s airport company London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) to focus on delivering long-term community benefit, regional economic and employment growth in the post-pandemic recovery, and support for the council’s vision for a net zero carbon town.

Council Chief Executive Robin Porter said: “Council staff have worked tremendously hard   throughout the current crisis and have continued to show incredible commitment and dedication to their roles, their colleagues and to our community.

“It has been a turbulent period for both the town and council and both have shown incredible resilience in the face of such demanding times. The council is led by a fantastic senior management team who have continually showed the same determination in service to the residents of Luton.”

The council will be recruiting over the next few month to the three vacancies at service director level – Housing, LLAL and Citizen Engagement and Legal Services (Monitoring Officer).
© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ