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Oxfordshire County Council appoints new chief executive

The Business Magazine article image for: Oxfordshire County Council appoints new chief executive
6 December 2022

Dr Martin Reeves has been named as the new Chief Executive of Oxfordshire County Council.

He will take over from Interim Chief Executive, Stephen Chandler, who has been in post since February 2022, when the process of ending the partnership between Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council began.

Martin Reeves joins from Coventry City Council where he has been Chief Executive since 2009, with responsibility for overseeing 4,500 employees, a £750 million revenue budget and a £250m capital programme. From 2008 - 2009 he was chief executive of Bedfordshire County Council, after serving as assistant chief executive there from 2006 - 2008.

Martin said: “The time is right for a new challenge, and I am proud to be remaining in local government, which is an area that makes such a positive difference to so many lives.

“I have worked with so many great people in Coventry and been given the opportunity to deliver major change as well as innovative programmes that have transformed the way we deliver services to our residents.

“Similar challenges and opportunities lie ahead in Oxfordshire – a county full of ideas, innovation, inspiration, and an ambition to deliver.

“Oxfordshire has internationally recognised universities and high-tech institutions, a thriving economy and vibrant rural and urban communities, but it also faces challenges including a growing and ageing population, rising demand for housing and vital services, such as adult social care. The county also contains 10 of the most deprived wards in England.

“I look forward to working hard with not only new colleagues at the county council to tackle these issues, but crucially with partners, residents and Oxfordshire’s wide and active communities to make the county the very best place it can be.”

Martin Reeves has also served as chief executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority and head of paid service (2016 - 2017), where he was responsible for the authority being given the power to choose its first directly elected mayor for the West Midlands.

His previous experience in local government includes roles at Westminster City, Waltham Forest and Reigate and Banstead councils, following a career in academia prior to 2000.

The appointment was made by Oxfordshire County Council’s Remuneration Committee, which is made up of a cross-party panel of elected members, following a recruitment process. The appointment is subject to formal approval at a meeting with all county councillors on 13 December.

Councillor Liz Leffman, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome Martin as our new chief executive. He brings with him a wealth of experience in local government and we believe he is the right person to take the council forward and enable us to deliver the administration’s ambitious priorities.

“I would also like to express my thanks to Stephen for his leadership and support during this period of transition.”

Dr Reeves’ starting date is due to be agreed once his appointment has been formally approved at a meeting with all county councillors on 13 December.


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Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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