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DCLG begins top-level streamlining with two key appointments

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced key appointments to its new top structure, marking the first substantive…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced key appointments to its new top structure, marking the first substantive moves to streamline the senior leadership of the organisation.

The two Directors General who will head the Department’s new Localism and Neighbourhoods policy groups have today been named as David Prout and Richard McCarthy, who each already serve at this grade in DCLG.

Last week, Irene Lucas, Director-General for Local Government and Regeneration, announced her departure in March 2011 to pursue business interests.

A second Director General in the Department has announced his intention to leave the Civil Service. Joe Montgomery, currently Director General for Regions and Communities, will leave at the end of January 2011, to pursue a range of business interests in the field of sustainable urban development.

Because of these decisions, the two new appointments were made by the Permanent Secretary, Sir Bob Kerslake, without the need for a competition.

David Prout, currently Director General for Communities, will take on the new Localism group which includes Local Government, Fire, Communities and the Big Society. Richard McCarthy, currently Director General for Housing and Planning, will lead the Neighbourhoods group which includes both these policy areas and regeneration.

Joe Montgomery has been Director General since 2001, most recently leading on Thames Gateway, Olympics and the Government Office Network. Until his departure he will continue to lead the programme to close down the Government Offices, which DCLG is managing on behalf of all departments.

Joe Montgomery said:

I am excited by DCLG’s new agenda of localism, decentralisation and the Big Society. I feel, however, that it is time for me to make my own contribution to public service and the Big Society in new ways.

I continue to be a believer in all that DCLG stands for, and I have cherished the opportunity to play a meaningful and fulfilling role in the Civil Service over the last nine years.

I now look forward to new and stretching opportunities to address the challenge of delivering sustainable development in our towns and cities.

Sir Bob Kerslake said:

I have worked with Joe in different capacities for well over ten years. He has brought an immense amount of wisdom, skill and humanity to whatever he has done in the job and I wish him well in whatever he decides to do next.

A third Director General role in the new top structure - with responsibility for Finance and Corporate Services - has not yet been filled, but recruitment to the post is expected to take place shortly.

A selection process is currently underway which will reduce the number of DCLG staff at the next most senior grade, Director, from 21 to 15. Confirmation of these appointments is expected before Christmas.

In the New Year, the Department’s work and staff will re-group under the newly appointed Directors and Directors General.

Sir Bob Kerslake told staff on 22 October that up to 40 per cent of jobs in the Department might go. Under the Spending Review, administrative budgets for DCLG are to be cut by 33 per cent over the four years to 2014-15.

Notes to editors

Joe Montgomery has been a Director General since joining the Department for Transport Local Government and the Regions to lead the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal in March 2001. Since then he has held lead responsibility for the Thames Gateway programme, the Government Offices and establishing the Department’s role in supporting the work of regional ministers.

Before joining the Department, Joe was Executive Director for Regeneration at Lewisham Council in London. He has extensive experience of urban renewal from his work as Assistant Secretary to the Cadbury Trust; as Leader of the Government’s Inner City Task Force (in Deptford); and as Chief Executive of one of the ‘pathfinder’ City Challenge urban regeneration companies.


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Published 18 November 2010