The Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Mr Steve Barron, has announced his decision to retire, with effect from 15 November this year, after ten years’ service with the Council, the last five at the helm.
He has given six months’ notice of his retiral. This is in advance of the required three months’ notice, to give the Council the best opportunity of appointing a successor before his departure.
Educated at Lochardil Primary School and Inverness Royal Academy, and with a background in construction and Facilities Management, Mr Barron has served much of his career in the Highlands.
Mr Barron joined the Council as Director of Housing and Property early in 2008. He had been managing director of Robertsons Facilities Management, Inverness, for eight years. His previous experience included 13 years in the health service in Lothian and Highland, where he was Head of Facilities with the former Highland Primary Care NHS Trust.
Steve was appointed to the top job in August 2013, replacing Alistair Dodds, who retired after 6 years as Chief Executive.
Mr Barron said: “My time as Chief Executive has seen the biggest challenges in decades for Local Authorities. It has been a time of enormous change for the Highland Council. There has been an imperative like no other to transform the Council and we have redesigned services while significantly reducing costs. This has been a stimulating and rewarding time and I have been fortunate to be very well supported throughout by a talented and innovative team.
“It has been a real privilege to serve The Highland Council over this period. That said, there remain many opportunities and challenges over the next 6 months and I will continue to play my part in addressing these, while doing everything I can to ensure a smooth transition. So it will be business as usual for me until November and then I intend to enjoy family time and a few more golf courses and hills.”
Council Leader Margaret Davidson said: “While I am very sad to hear this news, I am very grateful to Steve for allowing us time to find the right replacement for this key role and to enable a smooth transition. Steve is an outstanding Chief Executive who has led the Council through an extremely challenging few years, and he will be a difficult pair of shoes to fill. I wish him the very best for his future plans.”