New interim chief executive of Plymouth City Council is named
PLYMOUTH City Council has announced an interim chief executive to lead the local authority until at least July.
Current boss Barry Keel is retiring at the end of the month after seven years at the helm.
A permanent replacement will be made by city councillors in early July, the council says.
But it has announced that its head of paid service, Bob Coomber, will take on the role on an interim basis in the period between Mr Keel's departure and a new chief executive being appointed.
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Mr Coomber will assume all of the duties currently undertaken by Mr Keel, it was agreed at the council's annual general meeting on Friday.
Mr Coomber was previously a finance director and chief executive of the London Borough of Southwark.
Once described as a 'financial troubleshooter', he spent 12 years in the borough's top job until leaving in 2006 to work as a consultant.
He then became acting chief executive of Aberdeen City Council in 2008, and Thurrock Council, in Essex, the following year.
His new role will be to provide organisational leadership, support and lead the council's management team and provide advice and guidance to the new Labour administration.
Council leader Cllr Tudor Evans said: "I am delighted that we have someone of Bob's calibre on board as this is a critical period for the council.
"The new Labour administration intends to hit the ground running and we have an ambitious programme to deliver our manifesto commitments for the city.
"Bob has a strong track record and will help the council maintain its momentum of change while we recruit a permanent chief executive."
The council began its search for a new chief executive last month.
The authority says there has been strong interest in the role from across the country.