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Telford council's new chief exec to be man who was 'driving force' behind Southwater

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | Politics | Published:

The man described as "the driving force" behind Telford's Southwater development is set to become the authority's new £155,000-a-year chief executive.

David Sidaway

David Sidaway has been selected as the preferred candidate to take on the top role at Telford & Wrekin Council.

He will replace Richard Partington who surprisingly announced he was stepping down from the position in July.

His appointment needs to be ratified by councillors at the full meeting of the authority on Thursday.

Mr Sidaway, who would join from Stoke on Trent City Council, where he has been city director for the past four years, was previously a director at Telford & Wrekin Council and is credited as playing a significant role in some of the borough's most high profile projects – including Southwater, attracting the MoD Logistics Fulfilment Centre to Donnington, and the creation of the new Magna automotive parts plant.

Council leader Shaun Davies said Mr Sidaway was a key appointment for the future of the authority.

He said: “We are delighted that David has chosen to rejoin us. He already has a proven track record of success here and is the right person to help drive forward our plans for the borough and council for the next four years to protect, care and invest to create a better borough.

“The cross-party panel were very clear that David is an excellent candidate. Subject to full council’s confirmation, we look forward to him starting work with us this winter. We all feel David can really help to push the borough further forward on a regional and national level.”

A spokesman for Telford & Wrekin Council said Mr Sidaway's record in Stoke had helped change the attitude towards the city.

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He said: "In Stoke-on-Trent, he has helped create the city’s Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, one of the country’s fastest growing enterprise zones, which has secured 2,000 new jobs in its first two years.

Ambition

"He has also helped to lead the city centre Smithfield development, which has seen more than 400 jobs created at Grade A office accommodation and is currently seeing the completion of high-end city living apartments and a Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

"David has been instrumental in changing national attitudes towards Stoke-on-Trent to make it a place known for its ambition and aspiration.

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"At Telford & Wrekin, he was the driving force behind Telford centre’s transformation through the £250 million private and public sector Southwater development.

"Opened in 2014, Southwater has created more than 400 new jobs and created a living heart in the centre of Telford, linking the shopping centre, convention quarter and the award-winning town park. It has become a major regional leisure hub with bars, restaurants and leisure attractions including the region’s only ice rink and Imax cinema.

"It has played centrepiece to major events such as the Telford Balloon Fiesta and Christmas market, attracting tens of thousands of new people to the borough each year.

"He was also instrumental in the council attracting the MoD Logistics Fulfilment Centre to Donnington, safeguarding hundreds of jobs when the centre looked set to move to Oxfordshire, and working to secure one of the biggest direct foreign investments in the UK in the last decade, the new Magna automotive parts plant on the T54 business site, which is creating 300 new jobs.

"He also oversaw rationalisation of the council’s offices, reducing this from over 20 different sites to three core locations, saving the council £2 million a year, and setting up the council’s private housing company Nuplace which has so far built over 330 new rental homes in the borough mainly on brownfield land."

The council has confirmed Mr Sidaway will be paid an annual salary of £155,000, which includes payments for local returning officer duties.

He is expected to start in his new role during the winter. In the interim, Jonathan Rowe director of customer, neighbourhood and well-being services, will continue to be the council’s chief operating officer.

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