Council chief executive to step down from Preston role

Chief executive Lorraine Norris
Chief executive Lorraine Norris

The search to find Preston Council’s next top officer is underway as its current number one is set to retire.

Lorraine Norris, who has been at the helm of the local authority since 2009, will step down later this year.

It means a double change in town hall leadership with Coun Peter Rankin having also announced his intention to step down as leader.

READ MORE: Council leader will not stand for re-election
Councillors were informed of Ms Norris’s intentions at the latest meeting of the full council. Preparations have started to install a team of elected members to oversee the appointment of a replacement.

In the meantime the council boss says it is “business as usual” with no specific date yet in place for her moving aside.

She told the Lancashire Post: “After nine years as chief executive officer, I am beginning to make plans to retire later this year.

“Until then it is business as usual as I continue to work with colleagues, partners and our elected members to deliver the council’s services and priorities.”

Ms Norris, who is from Leyland, served as deputy chief executive before succeeding Jim Carr in November 2009.

Her tenure has seen Preston subject to major transformation projects such as City Deal. And she has spearheaded the local authority’s social justice programme.

Labour leader Coun Rankin will not stand for re-election in May having been diagnosed with brain cancer.