Thanks to retiring director who ‘made a difference’

Rutland County Council offices in Oakham
Rutland County Council offices in Oakham
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A director at Rutland County Council who has worked for the authority for 17 years is to retire.

Carol Chambers is the council’s director of people services and will formally retire in April.

Carol Chambers

Carol Chambers

Mrs Chambers has spent 40 years working in local government overall, including 17 years at Rutland County Council where she has worked with three chief executives.

In recent years, Mrs Chambers has been instrumental in the creation of a new people directorate in the county, bringing together children and adult services into one team.

Mrs Chambers, pictured left, said that had been her biggest challenge. She added: “When I joined Rutland just one month before it became a unitary authority in April 1997 I had no idea that I would retire from the same place 17 years later. I have been a director for 15 of those 17 years – gradually taking on more and more responsibility.”

She said she was proud of the way the council and her team had evolved.

Mrs Chambers added: “When Rutland became a unitary authority there were many who thought it was too small to provide services effectively. What those critics didn’t take into account was that for many of us that was just the challenge we needed in order to prove them wrong.”

Chief executive of the council Helen Briggs said everyone would be sad to see her go.

She said: “Carol has served the council with integrity, professionalism and a huge amount of dedication.”

Leader of the council Roger Begy (Con) added: “You cannot underestimate the importance of the work led by Carol Chambers and the difference this will have made to the lives of thousands of people across Rutland.

“On behalf of local residents, I sincerely thank her for that and wish her well in retirement.”

Mrs Chambers started teaching in 1973 at a secondary school in Hertfordshire.

In 1992, she joined the local education authority in Leicestershire as an advisor and inspector. Five years later, she joined Rutland in March 1997 as a second tier officer.

She held the role of chairman of the regional director of children’s services group from 2004 until 2011, as well as being the East Midlands representative on the National Council of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.

She is chairman of the board of the Virtual Staff College, which is the national organisation with responsibility for the leadership development of Director of Children’s Services.  Rutland County Council has appointed an interim director, Jack Blackmore, who starts with the council this month.