David Neudegg will stand down from his role after 11 years driving the pioneering shared services programme across four councils in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
Mr Neudegg was appointed Chief Executive for West Oxfordshire District Council in January 2007, and in September 2008 became one of only six shared chief executives in the country when appointed to the same role in Cotswold District Council.
He continued to break new ground in 2014 when he proposed one of the most radical approaches to local government collaboration; the 2020 Partnership. This comprised Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils and subsequently evolved into the jointly owned company, Publica, with Mr Neudegg appointed as Managing Director in 2017.
The Publica partnership was established to deliver over £5.6m of annual revenue savings whilst maintaining and improving services through better collaboration and partnership working. No other company model has the breadth and scale of Publica. Three of the four councils within the partnership transferred over 99 per cent of their employees into the company in 2017 – effectively providing the entire officer function for those councils. Nowhere else is doing this. The model also offers councils a more robust set of specialist resources and creates greater opportunity for career progression for its staff.
Mr Neudegg said: “I have spent 37 years in local government with one objective at the forefront of my thinking; to make local government services work as well as they can for the benefit of customers and residents. I’m very proud of our achievements in my time serving the partnership but now that Publica is established and all the expected financial and other benefits of the business case have been delivered, I feel it is an appropriate time to pass the baton to someone new.
“I hope to stay connected to the company in a part-time capacity and will be exploring new opportunities to contribute to the local government sector.”
In a joint statement, the leaders of the four councils in the partnership said: “We owe a great debt of gratitude to the contribution that David and his staff have delivered for our residents over the last 12 years. He has always provided us with excellent advice and support and is held in high regard by our councillors.”
Dave Brooks, Chairman of Publica, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with David over the last two years. His enthusiasm and ambition for the company are infectious and inspire our dedicated staff to deliver better services to residents on behalf of our partner councils and clients. His inspiration will be sorely missed and his moving on will open up a highly sought after vacancy to continue that work, realise the potential of the company and build on his legacy.”
David will step down on 31 December 2019 and arrangements are in place to seek and appoint a new managing director before the start of 2020.