Stephen is currently the joint Chief Executive of Suffolk Coastal District Council and Waveney District Council. He joined Suffolk Coastal as Chief Executive in 2005 and in 2008 also became Chief Executive of Waveney District Council.
Whilst the role of Chief Executive is wide and varied, Stephen has four areas of particular interest: shared services and collaboration; digital services and inclusion; growth and economic development; and civil resilience.
Stephen’s local government career started in 1982 when he left the private sector and joined Ipswich Borough Council. He later went on to become Chief Executive of East Northamptonshire District Council in 2002.
For many years Stephen chaired the Local Government Delivery Council, a Local Government Association body contributing to the delivery of the improvement agenda by liaising with Central Government on the implementation of major projects and change programmes. He also chaired the Public Sector Network Programme Board to ensure that compliance practices work for local councils and that the public sector maximises opportunities to support the delivery of a joined up local public service.
Stephen also represented local government on the Nuclear Emergency Planning Delivery Committee, is a contact for the Cabinet Office for the Recovery Advisory Board, and is also the current Chairman of the Suffolk Local Resilience Forum.
Most recently Stephen was appointed as official spokesperson on matters of Civil Resilience and Community Safety on behalf of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (an organisation which acts as a key point of reference for both Central Government and other partner agencies), to support the development of initiatives that improve our approach to civil resilience.