Praise for finance chief as retirement confirmed
The man who managed the finances for the largest council in the region during a period in which it was forced to make £153 million in budget cuts, has confirmed he will retire later this spring.
During more than five years in office Don McLure has headed the financial, legal and democratic, human resources and ICT teams at the council through one of the most difficult periods in local government history. Confirming his retirement today, (March 4), the Leader of the council, Cllr Simon Henig, said: "Don has always been clear on his intention to retire this year and I would like to thank him for his dedication and expertise during what has been an unprecedented period of financial cuts to local Government.
"To have managed £153 million in savings is an unenviable task but Don has worked with the whole corporate management team and elected members to ensure we took a considered and closely managed approach.
"I join everyone at Durham County Council in wishing him well for his retirement this summer, it is very well-earned."
Mr McLure joined Durham in October 2010 after an eight- year career with Derby City Council. Prior to that he worked at Gateshead Council.
Confirming the date for his retirement as May 31, 2016, Don said: "I am proud to have been part of the strong team who have steered Durham through such an enormously difficult time.
"Despite the very serious financial times we continue to face I believe we have rightfully established ourselves as a modern forward-thinking council and I am absolutely sure Durham will continue to find new and innovative ways to provide the best possible services to residents looking ahead."
Cabinet member for resources, Cllr Alan Napier, said: "Don's experience has been of huge value as have many of the major programmes he has overseen.
"On its completion in July it is estimated Digital Durham will have brought superfast broadband to 94 per cent of properties in the county and the next phase will take that to around 97 per cent.
"In addition, despite having less money to spend directly on business initiatives, our award winning Social Value initiative saw us beat nationally set goals on supporting small and medium sized companies and we are now hailed as a source of regional and national leadership on this agenda.
"He has also delivered the successful integration of all back office and administration functions to achieve major financial savings within the council."
Our new Chief Executive Terry Collins, said: "Don will leave us in strong shape to continue to address our budget cuts in a planned and managed way and I would like to add my thanks to Don for his hard work.
"A great deal of planning is already underway to ensure we continue to tackle the challenges ahead in a robust and organised manner.
"An important aspect of this will be our senior management structure which is currently being reviewed in light of the challenges we face and what the organisation needs in the future to deliver on our priorities."