Tuesday, 21 October 2014

HCA boss quits to be council chief executive

The interim chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency is stepping down to become chief executive of Newcastle Council.

Pat Ritchie has announced today that she will be leaving the agency at the end of January.

Ms Ritchie has been interim chief executive of the HCA for the last two years. The agency announced in September that it is recruiting a permanent chief executive because the organisation appeared to have a more secure future.

Ms Ritchie took over from Sir Bob Kerslake in September 2010, when Sir Bob moved to become permanent secretary at the Communities and Local Government department. At the time the coalition government was closing non-departmental public bodies, and the future role of the agency was not clear.

Ms Ritiche said: ‘I am very proud of the strong organisation the HCA has become. It has been a period of change and challenge at the HCA and across the sector; however the agency now has a clear direction and a vital role in delivering the government’s housing, land and growth ambitions.’

Robert Napier, chairman of the HCA, said: ‘Pat has built a strong agency with a clear remit from government and a track record for delivery. I had hoped to retain Pat in the role of HCA chief executive, however the board and I will now continue with the process to recruit a permanent chief executive as quickly as possible.’

A spokesperson for the HCA said the agency was keen to get a replacement chief executive in place before Ms Ritchie departs, but will make an interim appointment if necessary.

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