The post of Chief Executive Officer of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, previously known as “Town Clerk”, has been occupied by Douglas Grimes for 11 years (1973 – 1984), David Smith for 23 years (1986 – 2009), Frances Rutter for 8 years (2009 – 2017) and Kathryn Beldon for 5 years (2017 – 6th June 2022). Then Jackie King took the reins as interim CEO until her appointment as permanent CEO was confirmed by the Full Council on 14th February. In an exclusive interview with the Epsom and Ewell Times we introduce Jackie King to the wider public.
E&ET: Where were you born?
JK: I was born in Battersea and moved to Croydon at the age of five, when it was still part of Surrey, and have lived in the County since then.
E&ET: What secondary school and if applicable university did you go to?
JK: Archbishop Lanfranc in Croydon, then I obtained my professional qualification at the London South Bank university.
E&ET: Do you have ties to Epsom and Ewell?
JK: I have lived in Epsom for nearly 30 years and my mother is a resident in a care home here.
E&ET: Which other councils have you worked for?
JK: Tandridge District Council and before that Surrey Police – so a long career in the public sector.
E&ET: What has been your specialism in local government?
JK: Value for Money, Governance and Workforce transformation.
E&ET: What are the biggest challenges facing EEBC in the next 2 years?
JK: In common with other councils the financial challenges are significant, the cost of living crisis continues to impact on our residents and businesses, reduction and prevention in our homeless, plus we have our local plan out to consultation currently which, for one thing, is critical to us addressing the need for affordable housing across the borough.
E&ET: How many hours do you find your self working on average per week since you became acting CEO and now permanent CEO of EEBC?
JK: I have a 36 hour per week contract but my working pattern and number of hours worked tends to be dictated by the needs of the business.
E&ET: How do you relax? What are your hobbies?
JK: I am very fortunate to live in a borough with so many beautiful open spaces and I have always loved to walk my dogs around them when I have had them. In the Summer I love my garden and I also have a craft room at home which allows me to be creative and switch off completely.
E&ET: Thank you very much. We hope you enjoy your role and work in the years to come.
JK: My pleasure.