North Ayrshire Council Chief Executive set to retire
Posted on 24 Aug 2018
North Ayrshire Council’s Chief Executive Elma Murray is set to retire after nine years in the role.
Ms Murray has taken this decision to step down following a successful tenure which culminated in North Ayrshire Council being named APSE’s Council of the Year.
Commenting on her departure later this year, she said: “My time with North Ayrshire Council has been an amazing journey. It’s being a huge privilege to serve with such talented and committed people and dedicated communities.
“I feel I will leave the authority strongly placed to meet its future challenges – we’ve always punched above our weight here in North Ayrshire and I know that will continue in the years to come as the fight goes on to attract jobs and investment to the area allowing our communities to flourish.”
Elma has dedicated 35 years to public service, starting out at Glasgow City Council and Strathclyde Police before being appointed Head of IT Services at North Ayrshire Council in 1995.
She went on to become Head of Organisational Change, Depute Director of Finance and Head of eGovernment at Glasgow City Council before returning to North Ayrshire as Chief Executive in September 2009.
Since then, she has led a programme of transformational change at the Council. The results of this ongoing programme were seen in September 2017 when North Ayrshire Council was named APSE's UK Council of the Year.
Ms Murray’s pioneering work was recognised earlier this year when she was recognised in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours List, receiving an OBE for services to local government, education and the economy.
The award recognised Ms Murray’s trail-blazing work in transforming Scottish local government economic development services as well as her ongoing commitment to ensure young people get the best possible start in life.
Ms Murray's work to empower young people also extends to being the Chair of Young Scot, Scotland’s youth information and citizenship charity, and a member of both the Wood Commission National Advisory Group and the Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce Group.
Ms Murray also served as chair of SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) from 2012 to 2013 and helped introduce how Scotland’s 32 local authorities compare their performance and measure the outcomes of their work.
Ms Murray’s retiral comes in parallel with a new slimline leadership structure, designed to provide fresh thinking and focus for the challenges ahead.
At a Staffing and Recruitment Committee meeting on Friday, 24 August, Elected Members agreed to the new structure which will see a New Chief Executive supported by two Assistant Chief Executive Officers.
North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: “Elma is one of the most dedicated and hard-working public servants I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She has tremendous drive and determination and has been courageous and bold in her decision-making.
“She is passionate about North Ayrshire and its residents and together we have delivered progressive and innovative projects which we are both immensely proud of.
“We will miss her energy and motivation and I wish her well for the future.”
Councillor Marie Burns, Opposition Group Leader for the SNP on North Ayrshire Council, said: “There’s no doubt that North Ayrshire has benefitted from Elma’s leadership. Not only has she led from the front, always striving to improve the lives of all residents, but she has in particular been a strong role model for females and a massive advocate for young people.
“I have huge admiration and respect for Elma and the work she has carried out. It’s been a pleasure and an honour to have worked with her and I wish her every success in the future.”