New face at the helm of Welwyn Hatfield Council

Rob Bridge (left) welcomed to his new post by Dr Michel Saminaden of Welwyn Hatfield Council.

Rob Bridge (left) welcomed to his new post by Dr Michel Saminaden of Welwyn Hatfield Council. - Credit: Archant

The new chief executive of Welwyn Hatfield Council will be Rob Bridge, subject to the formal agreement of Full Council on February 6.

Mr Bridge is currently the corporate director, chief finance officer and deputy to the chief executive at Fenland District Council in Cambridgeshire.

Once the appointment is ratified he will replace Dr Michel Saminaden who will retire having been Welwyn Hatfield Council’s chief executive since 1996.

Before 2009, the year he joined Fenland District Council, Mr Bridge’s career progressed in financial roles at South Cambridgeshire District Council, Peterborough City Council, HM Prison Service and Cambridgeshire County Council.

Leader of Welwyn Hatfield Council, councillor John Dean said: “Rob was the outstanding candidate from a very high calibre shortlist.

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“We are very much looking forward to working with him.

“Rob will be joining us at a time when we face significant financial pressures, but also look forward to some major opportunities.

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“Michel has been an exemplary chief executive for over 20 years, and he will be a hard act to follow.

“I am confident that we have found someone who can rise to that challenge helping us to continue improving the services we deliver to those who live and work in the borough.”

Of his appointment, Mr Bridge said: “I am delighted and honoured to be given an opportunity to take on the role of chief executive in such an interesting, varied and unique borough.

“I have spent 20 years in local government and the public sector; I look forward to using that experience, and my passion for working with staff and councillors to deliver the very highest quality services to people, for the benefit of everyone in Welwyn Hatfield.”

Mr Bridge graduated with a business and finance qualification from De Montfort University in 1995 before gaining accountancy qualifications, including membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

More recently he gained a diploma in management from the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Rob, 42, lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife, Sam, two young boys, Caspar and Felix, and their dog, George. He aims to begin his new role in early May this year.

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