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Top council officer's surprise resignation

Adam Wilkinson: unexpected departure
Adam Wilkinson: unexpected departure

One of Kent County Council’s most senior officers has quit after just a year in the job.

Adam Wilkinson, KCC’s managing director of environment and regeneration said he was leaving for family reasons.

He was responsible for Kent’s roads, the environment, waste and planning and a £135million budget.

His departure, which was not widely expected, comes as KCC faces a range of potentially sensitive decisions affecting the county’s transport network and the way in which it deals with waste. It is also deliberating over scaling back spending on a number of road schemes and whether to push ahead with a controversial lorry park to deal with Operation Stack.

In a separate development, county council leader Cllr Paul Carter revealed that he had initiated a root and branch review of Kent highways and has admitted maintaining and repairing roads should be a greater priority.

KCC has not yet appointed an interim successor and a full-time appointment to Mr Wilkinson is unlikely to be made before the end of the year.

Mr Wilkinson, who was on a six-figure salary, was appointed to the job in June last year after five years working for Rotherham council. He succeeded Peter Raine.

At the time, he was described by KCC chief executive Peter Gilroy as one of local government’s rising stars.

Mr Wilkinson, who is understood not to have another job to go to, said: “I have held this post for exactly a year and it has been an enormously stimulating and exciting period in my career. However, it has not been possible for me to relocate my family to Kent. I have found the combination of living apart from my four daughters during the week and travelling the six and a half hours home at weekends, placed alongside giving my full attention to what is a demanding role is not sustainable. I have decided, therefore, that my family must come first.”

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