Hampshire County Council Appoints First Female Chief Executive

Hampshire County Council has appointed its first female chief executive.

Carolyn Williamson is the new chief executive at Hampshire County Council and also the first woman in the council’s history to hold the post.

Ms Williamson was unanimously appointed during an extraordinary council meeting held yesterday.

It comes as chief executive John Coughlan is set to retire.

Ms Williamson has so far worked as the county council’s deputy chief executive and director of corporate resources.

She joined Hampshire County Council in 2010 as director of resources after working as deputy chief executive at Southampton City Council.

During the meeting, deputy council leader Cllr Rob Humby said: “She has steered the council’s finances so successfully against the enormous challenges of the past decade. We have all been taken with her energy, intelligence and passion for the job. It is notable that Carolyn will be the first woman to hold the top job in the county.”

County councillors unanimously voted in favour of her appointment.

She said: “Thank you all very much. I am absolutely delighted and I am really looking forward to taking up this exciting new role. There will be many challenges and many opportunities in the years to come but I welcome the opportunity to work with each and every one of you in order to steer Hampshire carefully through the years ahead. Your unanimous trust in me as new chief executive is really appreciated.”

She will be responsible for managing an overall annual budget of around £2 billion and a workforce of around 37,000.