Simon will bring a record of strong leadership and operational delivery to a role that is key to ensuring the swift implementation of reforms to the planning system.
He joined the department in 2010 as director of local government finance and since then has led that directorate through a period of considerable change, implementing the most significant reform of local government finance for many years.
Simon’s background in finance in a time of scrutiny on public spending and experience of working at the heart of government with ministers across Whitehall will be invaluable to the chief executive position. Simon previously worked at HM Treasury, working on public spending, growth and productivity.
The Planning Inspectorate is executive agency of the department and Simon will take over when Sir Michael Pitt steps down from the post on 1 July 2014.
Sir Michael was appointed chairman of the Infrastructure Planning Commission when it was created in May 2009 and was then appointed chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate, overseeing the transition of the Commission’s responsibilities to the Inspectorate when it was abolished in April 2012.
Simon Ridley said:
I’m delighted to take up this opportunity to build on the work of Sir Michael’s leadership and lead an organisation that is integral to ensuring a swift planning system is in place for all, from individual residents through to major corporations.
I look forward to taking up this role in the summer and working with all the teams in the Inspectorate.
Peter Schofield, Director General of Neighbourhoods said:
I have immensely enjoyed working with Mike since I joined DCLG 2 years ago, and have watched with admiration at the way he brought together the Commission and the Planning Inspectorate and ensured that the Planning Inspectorate was well prepared to play its part in delivering the government’s planning reforms.
I’m grateful for Mike for agreeing to stay until July when Simon starts and I’m delighted that Simon will be succeeding Mike and look forward to working closely with him when he starts the role in July.