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Third commissioner appointed to Slough

Council chamber sign Observatory House
The council chamber sign

A third commissioner has been appointed to Slough Borough Council by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

Gavin Jones, who has been appointed as assistant commissioner, will join Max Caller, lead commissioner and Margaret Lee, finance commissioner, who have been in place since December 2021.

The third commissioner has been appointed following a request from the current commissioners and has been appointed on the same basis as Mr Caller and Ms Lee.   

The commissioners were put in place following a review by DLUHC into the governance and finances of the council which found major problems stretching back several years.

The commissioners will be overseeing and assisting with the council’s recovery and renewal plan which lays out the work undertaken so far, and the work needed to create a sustainable council providing the right services to residents at the right time.

Gavin Jones is currently the chief executive of Essex County Council where he has served since 2016, having previously spent 10 years as CEO of Swindon Borough.

He joined Local Government after having worked in the commercial sector for much of his career, including time in the airline, travel and technology sectors.

He has also been chair of SOLACE – the UK’s leading membership network for public sector and local government professionals – for three years, helping it to grow and support leadership across the local government.

Councillor James Swindlehurst, leader of the council, said: “There are still very difficult times ahead of us and we have welcomed the commissioners, their expertise, advice and help and I look forward to meeting Gavin.

“We will be continuing to work with all the commissioners until the issues have been fully resolved by us all.

“Together we will be putting the council on a sustainable financial footing, improving our governance and making the right decisions for our residents and town.”

Max Caller, CBE, led the best value inspections at Northamptonshire and Liverpool and was a commissioner at Tower Hamlets.  Max is a former chief executive of the London Boroughs of Hackney and Barnet and former chair of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England. 

Margaret Lee recently retired from Essex County Council where she held the post of executive director for corporate and customer services. As well as holding senior finance roles, including that of the statutory S151, she was responsible for other support services such as legal and assurance services, procurement and the transformation support team. She is the finance lead on the Improvement and Assurance Panel for the London Borough of Croydon.

Published: 11 January 2022