First woman and member of BAME community appointed as managing director of Hertsmere Borough Council
PUBLISHED: 12:20 26 January 2020
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A new female managing director of Hertsmere Borough Council was appointed yesterday.
Sajida Bijle is the first woman and member of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community to be given this role in Hertsmere.
She has worked for Hertsmere Borough Council for 30 years, performing a number of key roles including chief financial officer and corporate director. Sajida has been serving as interim managing director since September 2019 and was acting chief executive from July 2019, following a decision to axe the executive post from the management structure.
Council leader Cllr Morris Bright MBE said: "I was delighted to be able to confirm Sajida's appointment at our full council meeting last night.
"I have worked closely with Sajida over many years and have always been impressed by her diligence, integrity and commitment to putting our residents at the heart of everything that we do. I wish her well for her new post."
Labour leader Cllr Jeremy Newmark also welcomed her appointment, saying: "This is an incredibly significant appointment at a critical time. Sajida personifies the very best values of public service. She will be a huge asset to the borough.
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"I particularly welcome the appointment of Hertsmere's first ever woman and member of the black, asian and minority ethnic community to the role of permanent head of paid service."
Cllr Andrew Melville, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, added: "This is a positive step for the council and I was delighted to lend my support and agreement. I wish Sajida well in this post."
Sajida Bijle said it is "an immense personal privilege" for her.
She said, "I look forward to driving through some ambitious plans for the authority over the coming months and years, but retaining our core vision of supporting our communities, planning for the future and being an enterprising council.
"We have tremendous staff here who work very hard to provide an excellent service to our local communities so am confident that we can continue to make great progress. I look forward to leading them and working with our elected members, stakeholders and partners."
Chair of the personnel committee, Cllr Pete Rutledge for Bushey St James and Hertsmere's longest serving councillor, Jean Heywood, who serves Potters Bar Oakmere, also paid warm tributes to Sajida.
Sajida's qualifications for the role include chartered accountant; certified accountant and a BA degree in law, as well as a fully qualified membership of the Institute of Directors.