New CEO for Somerset Council

This morning Somerset County Council (SCC) met at the Westlands Centre in Yeovil. In keeping with a new commitment to make the council more accessible, this was the third meeting in a third location. Bridgwater, Taunton and Yeovil have so far played host. Residents in Frome will no doubt be anxiously awaiting their turn!

On this morning’s agenda was a proposal to appoint a new Chief Executive. The old one, Pat Flaherty, is leaving to join Harrow Council. Duncan Sharkey was proposed to be the new Chief Executive, specifically for the new unitary council. However as he will join Somerset in the Autumn, he will serve for a few months as Chief Executive of SCC.

Mr Sharkey’s appointment was voted through with cross party support.

Mr Sharkey has been Chief Executive of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead since February 2019. Here he built a new leadership team. He stabilised the council’s finances, working closely with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). He also secured a rating of ‘Good’ for Children’s Services in the borough. Adult Care Services in Windsor and Maidenhead were all CQC (Care Quality Commission) rated as Good or Outstanding.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Sharkey said: “Chief Executive of the new unitary Somerset Council is one of the most exciting jobs in local government. I am honoured and thrilled to have been selected for the role. It was a rigorous recruitment process. I was very pleased to meet so many of the partners, colleagues and councillors I will be working with in the future. I was particularly pleased to meet a number of young people and talk to them about their ambitions for the future of Somerset. The new Council, rightly, has high ambitions both for its services and for the county’s economy. I very much look forward to playing my part in its development.”


  • Good luck to him – he will need it with the LibDems.

  • New ideas new ways of tackling the problems of today which I am sure will deliver the results Somerset badly needs at this time. As we just can’t keep up with the changes the last few years have thrown at us.

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