Hat-trick for Calderdale

Cllr Tim Swift

Calderdale Council has boosted its leadership team with the appointment of three new senior officers.

The Council has recruited a new Director of Public Health; an Assistant Director for Early Intervention and Safeguarding in Children and Young People’s Services and a new Assistant Director for Adult Social Care Operations.

Deborah Harkins, currently the Director of Public Health and Wellbeing at Dudley Council, will join Calderdale at the beginning of April, following the retirement of Paul Butcher.

As the Director of Public Health, Deborah will be the lead on decreasing rates of child obesity; reduce demand for health and care; address the growing gaps in healthy life expectancy across the borough; and mitigate the damaging impact of poor air quality in some of our towns.

Deborah will also be responsible for co-ordinating the Council’s response to the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Deborah to the Council as our new Director of Public Health; she has joined at a critical time for us. Deborah will play a significant role in delivering our Vision2024 and will also be responsible for driving our response to the Climate Emergency.


“Equally our two new Assistant Directors, Sean and Rob, will make sure that the most vulnerable adults and children in Calderdale receive the care and support that they need to keep them safe and allow them to thrive.”

Rob Murray joined the Council in February 2020 as the Assistant Director for Early Intervention and Safeguarding.

Previously the Head of Safeguarding Organisation for North Lincolnshire Council, he has many years of experience managing services for children in care, including working with troubled families, tackling domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour and youth justice.

As the Assistant Director he will be responsible for making sure children in Calderdale can achieve their full potential, that they are happy, healthy, safe and successful.

The new Assistant Director for Adult Social Care Operations, Sean Cook, will join the Council in April 2020.

Currently Knowsley Council’s Head of Service for Early Intervention and Prevention and Provider Services, Sean will ensure people who need support receive high quality social care, safely, and at the time when they need it, enabling them to live independently, wherever possible. Sean comes with a wealth of experience, having worked at a senior level within a number of local authorities

Each of the new starters will also join the Council’s wider senior management team in its drive to deliver Vision2024 and to become the Best Borough in the North.

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