Croydon Council has appointed Hazel Simmonds to lead its new directorate with a focus on delivering more services in partnership with local communities.
Ms Simmonds will lead the new Gateway, Strategy and Engagement division, which includes housing, strategy, policy development, communications, community relations, and the council’s Gateway welfare service.
Currently the council’s interim director for council homes, districts and regeneration, Ms Simmonds has over a decade’s experience in senior local government roles, from being deputy director for safer neighbourhoods and regeneration at Hackney Council to leading on policy, corporate affairs and environment at Colchester Borough Council.
Ms Simmonds, who started her career in 1982 as a Civil Service jobs adviser, said: “I am really pleased to lead this new directorate and drive the council’s agenda to improve services for local people.”
Chief executive Jo Negrini said: “This is an exciting time for the council as we embark on new ways of working, changing how we deliver our services. The new directorate will drive this important work and will be crucial in positioning the council for the future, repositioning our relationship with residents and localities, and putting residents at the very heart of everything we do.”
“More and more of this council’s focus is to help local communities sooner so we either lessen the impact of issues affecting residents’ lives or prevent them completely, and Hazel will be key to its future success.
“From overseeing housing need to improving community relations, Hazel has the expertise and drive to lead this important new directorate, and I wish her well in her new role.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services