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Sandwell Council appoints new permanent Chief Executive

Published 8th November 2022

Shokat Lal

Sandwell Council has approved the appointment of Shokat Lal as its new permanent Chief Executive.

Councillors at tonight’s (8 November) Full Council meeting unanimously backed a recommendation from a cross-party committee of councillors recommending that he be appointed to the role.

Currently Executive Director of Core Services at Barnsley Council, Shokat was the candidate recommended by the Chief Officer Terms and Conditions Committee.
In his current role, Shokat is responsible for corporate services including finance and legal and governance services. Prior to this, he was the Assistant Chief Executive at Rotherham Council where he was part of the senior leadership team responsible for bringing the council out of intervention.

Shokat Lal said: “I am very much looking forward to working with staff, councillors, commissioners and partners, using my skills and experience, to build on the improvements being made at Sandwell Council. I am fully committed to delivering quality, value for money services for everyone in Sandwell.

“I have seen how the brand-new Sandwell Aquatics Centre has put the borough firmly on the map, hosting international swimming and diving events for the Commonwealth Games this year. I know this fantastic facility is a key driver locally for both regeneration and health and it will benefit Sandwell residents for decades to come.

“I will be looking to build on this achievement and the hugely ambitious plans the council has to unlock the full potential of the borough. These plans are much needed given the challenges and impact on Sandwell of the cost of living crisis.”

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Chief Officer Terms and Conditions Committee, said: “I’m delighted that Shokat has now been approved as our new permanent Chief Executive. His experience together with his evident passion and commitment to transforming services for residents made him the outstanding choice to lead the council through the significant challenges ahead.”

Kim Bromley-Derry, Managing Director Commissioner, said: “There have been real strides forward in the council’s processes this year and a determination to focus on delivering the best possible outcomes for our residents. The appointment of a permanent Chief Executive is an important marker for sustained improvement in the council, so this is a really significant step in our improvement journey.

“Commissioners will be fully supporting Shokat when he starts to ensure these improvements are sustainable and I look forward to working with him to realise the ambitious plans we have for Sandwell.”

Following an extensive executive search, three candidates were shortlisted and then underwent a rigorous assessment process before being interviewed by the Chief Officer Terms and Conditions Committee.

Now the appointment has been approved by Full Council, a date will be agreed with Shokat for him to start his role at Sandwell Council.