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Local leader given top job in Birmingham City Council


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Birmingham born Deborah Cadman OBE, the current chief executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has been appointed acting chief executive of Birmingham City Council. 

The interim position will cover the 2022 Commonwealth Games and local elections, after which recruitment for a permanent appointment will begin. 

Following roles as the Audit Commission’s Best Value Service Lead Inspector for the London region, Chief Executive for St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the East of England Development Agency, Deborah was appointed Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council and was in post from 2011 to 2017. 

She was appointed OBE for services to local government in 2006 and is listed in Local Government Chronicle’s ‘100 Most Influential in the Sector’.

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Deborah is highly respected both regionally and nationally, and I’m delighted that she will be joining us. Her knowledge, understanding and commitment to Birmingham will be invaluable for the year ahead. 

“She also has a vital role to play in helping us deliver the Commonwealth Games, ensuring that people and communities across the city reap the rewards, and I know she is as passionate as I am about ensuring that the future for Birmingham is bold and bright.”

Raised and educated in Birmingham, she was the first permanent chief executive of the newly formed WMCA in 2017, following 30 years working in public services. She worked at the city council for seven years during her early career, followed by senior roles, including Head of Policy at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Local Government Advisor to the Ministerial Team at the Department of Environment, Transport and Regions. 

Deborah herself added, “I’m looking forward to bringing my successful experience in working with councillors and partners across national and local government to make a difference to the city of Birmingham.

“I’m a Brummie born and bred, love the place and the people, and I know how ambitious the council is to make a difference in people’s lives.”


Written by: David Watkins

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