SOUTHEND Council is set to approve the appointment of a new chief executive.

A special council meeting will be held on Monday to formally appoint Colin Ansell to steer the council through some troubled times.

Mr Ansell is currently interim chief executive at Newham Council. He joined the authority in 2000 as a customer services officer. He became corporate director of adults and health in 2019, overseeing services for people with social care and health needs.

Mr Ansell also helped establish a task force to tackle homelessness in Newham and introduced the London living wage for care workers.

The new chief executive will face some tough challenges, including tackling a £10.7million deficit and the ever-increasing strains on adult and children’s social care.

Tony Cox, leader of the council said: “On behalf of the appointments and disciplinary panel I am pleased to recommend the appointment of Colin Ansell to Full Council.

“I hope that councillors support the recommendation and that we will be welcoming Colin as our new chief executive soon.”

Mr Ansell will replace interim chief executive Rob Tinlin who took over following the sudden departure of Rob Polkinghorne who resigned in July after just eight months into the £180,000 a year job.

Daniel Cowan, leader of the Labour Group welcomed the appointment. He said: “I’m delighted with the appointment of Colin. He comes to Southend with a lot of knowledge and experience that will be useful to us and I think he’s the right person at the right time for the direction that we want to take the organisation in. I’m excited to see him start.

“He brings a lot of experience. We are a coastal city and we have the challenges and opportunities that come with that and because of our proximity to London we also have very similar challenges to most London boroughs.”

Mr Cowan added: “He is also someone who is from and lives in south Essex. Understanding the local context as well is really important for us as well. We’ve had a really robust process and we’ve seen some really great candidates but Colin was the stand out person. He comes to us with the full support of all the group leaders. I look forward to the council ratifying the appointment.”