Camden Council's chief executive Mike Cooke announces retirement after seven years
PUBLISHED: 16:25 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:57 01 October 2018
Justin W Thomas
Camden Council's chief executive has announced that he will retire next year after 14 years working for the council, seven of those at the top of the authority.
Mike Cooke was previously the HR director at Camden, as well as its director of housing and adult social care.
He succeeded Moira Gibb in 2012. He will leave the post on March 31 2019.
In an email to staff this afternoon, he said: “Camden is an amazing place and it is an honour to serve this Council and Camden’s residents. We have made huge strides forward, dealt as well as we possibly could with a period of national austerity, achieved much and we are now widely respected as a leading council which is innovating and making a difference.
“This has been a hard decision not least because I remain as passionate about Camden as when I started in the role and I continue to value working with Camden’s amazing residents, partners, members and outstanding colleague officers.
“However, I will have been in post for seven years very soon, which in my view is a long tenure, and I have also worked for the Council for 14 years, so I have decided that early 2019 will be a good time to hand over the reins.”
A successor is expected to be appointed by mid-January.
Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said: “Mike Cooke is one of the most forward-thinking leaders in local government. Never someone to chase the limelight, he has, in his patient, understated, way led Camden through a period of unprecedented challenge and helped to ensure our values are stronger than ever.
“He is a great innovator who has helped us protect our public services and build a culture that recognises the strength in our communities, despite losing half our budget.
“He is the ultimate public servant, serving Camden with absolute dedication and I’ve personally learnt a lot from him. While he’s not leaving us just yet, I know when he does he will leave us in the strongest possible place to weather turbulent times and continue to built together a place where no-one is left behind.”
Leader of the opposition, Conservative councillor Oliver Cooper tweeted: “The retirement of Camden’s Chief Executive, Mike Cooke, is sad news for the borough. He has been an excellent corporate leader, with a steady hand and a clear passion for Camden, and has personally spear-headed reforms and efficiencies that many claimed were impossible.”