27 Jul 2016


Former Birmingham boss to join Bristol City Council as Interim Chief Executive

A new Interim Chief Executive is set to join Bristol City Council. Stephen Hughes, the former Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, joins Bristol on 11 August 2016.

Mr Hughes, who is widely recognised as one of the country’s leading authorities on public sector finance and reform, joins on an interim basis whilst the council recruits a permanent replacement for departing City Director Nicola Yates OBE, who leaves at the end of this week.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said: “Stephen has a wealth of experience and is well known in council circles as a talented reformer of public services. This will be hugely important in this role as Bristol faces a continuing budget challenge. His experience will be invaluable, particularly when combined with the local knowledge and talent of our wider Strategic Leadership Team and all our staff who work so hard for Bristol.

“His appointment will mean a much smoother transition towards new permanent management arrangements, helping us keep our foot on the pedal with major work to plan for Bristol’s future and ensure this is city in which no-one is left behind.”

Stephen Hughes, incoming Interim Chief Executive of Bristol City Council said: “Bristol is well regarded as an innovative council which is doing some exciting things, particularly in its work to establish private companies for social good, such as Bristol Energy and Bristol Waste.

“Like any council it faces a major financial challenge. Funding cuts and the rising cost of goods and services combine with more people needing council services to create an extremely difficult situation to contend with. I look forward to working with the Mayor, his Cabinet, the management team, staff and various partners in Bristol to help the council rise to this challenge.”

Biography: Stephen Hughes
With nearly 40 years of professional experience in local government and almost a decade as Birmingham City Council’s Chief Executive, Stephen Hughes is one of country’s leading authorities on council finance and transformation.

An Economics graduate of Cambridge University and qualified CIPFA Accountant, Mr Hughes began his professional career as an economist at Coventry City Council and economic researcher for the International Wool Secretariat in 1979. Moving on to a range of policy and finance related roles across the Association of Metropolitan Authorities, Association of London Authorities and the London Borough of Islington, he later took on a successful secondment to the then-Department of Environment, Transport and Regions in 1998.

After nearly five years as the Director of Finance for the London Borough of Brent, he became Strategic Director of Resources at Birmingham City Council in 2004 before becoming its Chief Executive the following year, a post he held for nine years until February 2014.

Now retired from permanent positions, Mr Hughes remains an active professional consultant, most recently as an Interim Executive Director for the Local Government Association and Interim Strategic Director of Resources for the London Borough of Brent.