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New Chief Executive for Falkland Islands Government

Tuesday, November 12th 2002 - 20:00 UTC
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The next Chief Executive will be Chris Simpkins. Chris, 50, is currently Chief Executive of South Holland District Council in Lincolnshire. He hopes to take up post in early March, as the current Chief Executive Michael Blanch reaches the end of his contract.

Chris Simpkins' appointment was the culmination of a long process, with 31 applicants for the job and a strong longlist of 7 candidates. Chris visited the Islands two weeks ago to meet departmental heads and local business people, and was interviewed by all Councillors and by the Governor.

"We were very impressed by Chris Simpkins" said Chair of the Appointment Panel, Councillor Richard Cockwell. "He has a good track record and will bring considerable experience to managing Government." Among Chris's achievements was the creation of the UK's first Rural Action Zone, and he is an adviser to the Minister for Rural Affairs.

The Governor, Donald Lamont, commented "Chris Simpkins will come to the Falklands with a strong background of experience as a Chief Executive in UK local government. He is well equipped to take forward with Councillors their plans for modernisation of government and development of the economy. I know that my successor, Howard Pearce, who met Chris in London, looks forward to working with him over the next three years."

Chris Simpkins will be accompanied by his wife Denise, who is as an Education Adviser. They have two children, Carly and Gareth. Carly is a final year medical student, and Gareth has a degree in psychology but intends also to study medicine.

"I am honoured and privileged to have been appointed to such a fascinating position in the unique environment that is the Falkland Islands," said Chris Simpkins, "I look forward to working with all sectors of the community and government to bring about lasting and sustainable progress in the life and economy of the Islands and building on the excellent foundation constructed by Dr Blanch. My wife and I plan to arrive towards the end of February 2003 and will quickly try to integrate with the community."

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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