Harlow Council has appointed a new chief executive after a “rigorous and competitive” recruitment process.

The council approved the appointment of its director of strategic growth and regeneration Andrew Bramidge to the role at a meeting on November 22.

A council’s chief executive is the head of its paid service and acts as the link between the council members and officers.

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Mr Bramidge said: "I am honoured to have been selected as Harlow’s new chief executive.

"Whilst there are challenging times ahead for everyone, I am resolutely optimistic about Harlow’s future and its continued regeneration.

“There are huge opportunities for the town in the coming years and I am excited to be leading the organisation to deliver those for Harlow’s residents and businesses.

“I am focussed on ensuring that the council has a clear direction to deliver quality services for local people and am looking forward to working with our great team across the council to achieve this."

The council’s appointments panel recommended Mr Bramidge for the role after interviewing shortlisted candidates on November 17 following what the council described as a “rigorous and competitive recruitment process”.

Council leader Russell Perrin said: “Andrew’s appointment as chief executive follows an extremely competitive and thorough recruitment process where we attracted a very strong field of candidates.

“I look forward to working closely with Andrew who has a strong track record of delivery for this town. Andrew is well regarded and well respected by many.

“Together we have much work to do to improve the way the council works for its residents but also to keep on delivering Harlow’s much-needed regeneration.”

The new chief executive was formerly chief executive of Harlow Renaissance from 2006 to 2011 and held several senior management roles in regeneration partnerships and private companies.

Leader of the opposition Cllr Chris Vince said: “As leader of the Labour group I am delighted to support the appointment of Andrew Bramidge to the role of chief executive.

“Andrew is someone who has shown his hard work and dedication to Harlow and I look forward to working with him in his new role to the benefit of everyone in our town.”