New chief executive appointed to Barnet Council

By Dave Speck in Local People

Barnet Council has formally appointed a new chief executive on a salary of £178,000 per year.

Father-of-three John Hooton has already been in the post on an interim basis for the past nine months, ever since his predecessor Andrew Travers left the post by mutual consent following problems over the running of elections.

Mr Hooton, who was formally appointed at full council meeting this week, said: "Barnet is a fascinating and diverse place and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with our councillors, staff and local partners to ensure that public services in Barnet are of highest possible quality for residents and businesses."

Mr Hooton is a former Assistant Director of Finance at Barking and Dagenham Council. He joined Barnet Council in 2010 as deputy finance director, and became Chief Operating Officer in 2015, overseeing finance and support functions, as well as the commercial, performance, strategy, and governance teams.

Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, said: “The applicants were of an extremely high calibre but the panel agreed that John Hooton has the right range of skills, qualities and experience for the job.

"He understands the complexities, challenges and opportunities in Barnet, which I am confident will be a real strength in this role. John has also been integral to the council successfully meeting its financial challenges, and this will continue to be a key focus."

Mr Hooton’s predecessor, Andrew Travers, left the post last summer following problems with the running of local and mayoral elections when hundreds of voters were turned away at the polls due to a mix-up over electoral registers.

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