Council appoints interim chief exec

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WHBC) is set to appoint Ka Ng as an interim chief executive ahead of the departure of incumbent, Rob Bridge.

Ka Ng

Subject to the agreement of full Council on 17 September, Ka will be appointed chief executive for a period of up to 12 months. A government white paper on local government reform is expected to be published this autumn and it is hoped that the interim arrangement will provide enough time for the future of district, borough and county councils to become clearer. Once it is, a more permanent appointment can be made.

Ka, currently one of three corporate directors at the council, will replace Rob Bridge, chief executive since May 2017. She will take over as head of paid service at the end of October when Rob departs to take up a new challenge as chief executive of the recently formed North Northamptonshire unitary authority.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Tony Kingsbury, said:

Rob has made a big difference to the council, and to the borough, in his three and a half years here. He has been ably supported by three excellent directors who each bring significant skills and experience to Welwyn Hatfield. All three are ambitious and put themselves forward for this interim post, and Ka was the successful candidate amongst a very strong field. Ka is an outstanding local government officer who is deeply committed to her role. I very much look forward to working even more closely with her.

Of her anticipated appointment, Ka said:

It will be an honour to work alongside the Leader, the Cabinet, other Group Leaders and my fellow directors to continue the great work that officers and members have been doing in extremely challenging times. The future has never been more uncertain, but with the team, the culture, and ways of working that Rob has built here we are well placed to continue making great strides towards making Welwyn Hatfield a better place to live, work and visit.

A Welwyn Garden City resident, Ka began her time at WHBC in 2009 as a management accountant and, after a spell at Hackney Council, returned as Finance Manager before becoming Head of Resources. After another period outside the borough as Director of Resources at Maldon District Council, she returned to WHBC in 2016 to take on her current role which, along with being the council's chief financial officer, has responsibility for waste and recycling, parks, play areas and other public spaces, as well as leisure, cultural services, strategy and performance, customer service and communications.