Jo Miller: ‘Doncaster’s best days are yet to come’ as chief executive looks to new challenge in New Zealand

Doncaster Council’s New Zealand bound chief executive has said the borough’s best days ‘are yet to come’.

Monday, 20th May 2019, 16:47 pm
Doncaster Council chief executive Jo Miller is heading to New Zealand for a fresh challenge. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Jo Miller, the local authority's top boss is heading Down Under to become the top boss of Hutt City Council near Wellington next month. 

Addressing councillors in the chamber for the final time, praised mayors past and present and to cabinet members, executive staff and elected members across the floor.

She used her speech to say austerity made some of the work for staff harder to do and that the ‘sun hasn’t shone fairly’ on all areas in reference to cuts. 

She spoke fondly of her ‘10-year association’ with Doncaster Council which started in 2009 as interim chief executive before taking the job on a permanent basis in 2011.  

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Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband previously praised Ms Miller’s leadership along with Mayor Ros, who both took on a council ‘seen as a basket case’ local authority. 

A panel of officers and councillors will decide Ms Miller’s replacement in the coming months. 

She said: "It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be chief executive and to lead this amazing workforce who do incredible things day in, day out for our population at a time where public service and public servants are not always recognised.

“You should all be very proud to where we’ve come from in those 10 years and everyone has had their shoulder to the wheel. 

“It’s been difficult to do some of that due to some difficult national weather and perhaps the sun hasn’t shone fairly across all pieces of this land. 

“But you’ve focused not on what you can’t do but what you can do.

“You’ve made your focus about the people and I know despite the prevailing weather your best days are yet to come if you continue to have people as your focus and to work hard and always make it about people and not the town hall. 

“The relationship between the mayor and the chief executive is paramount and I could not have had a better partnership.”

Ms Miller is set begin work in her new role in July in the city of Lower Hutt. 

Lower Hutt is a city in the Wellington region of the north island of New Zealand. Administered by the Hutt City Council, it is one of the four cities that constitute the Wellington metropolitan area.

It’s New Zealand's seventh most populous city, with a population of 105,900. 

The top boss was previously been deputy chief executive at Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council and a senior director at Knowsley Council. She has also been deputy chief executive of the Local Government Association and president of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE).