Bristol City Council has today named its new chief executive and, while the name is only a “recommendation” according to the local authority, councillors will be discussing the topic at the next meeting of Full Council on Tuesday, September 13. Stephen Peacock has been recommended to take over the role from October 21, 2022 until June 2024, following a rigorous interview process conducted by a cross-party selection committee.
The current chief executive, Mike Jackson, announced in July that he would leave the post after four years’ service working for the authority and the city. He will take up a role as the new joint chief executive of Richmond Upon Thames and Wandsworth Councils.
Mr Peacock has been at the council since the latter part of 2019 and has overseen the Growth and Regeneration directorate, leading on major projects including the regeneration of Temple Quarter and the council’s house building process. He replaced what was at the time the highest paid official at Bristol City Council, Colin Molton, who was paid £263,000 a year as the interim executive director of growth and regeneration – though Mr Peacock was paid £165,000 a year for the more permanent role.
Just last month, Bristol Live reported that, according to Bristol City Council’s accounts, current chief executive Mike Jackson received £174,073 last year which was just ahead of Mr Peacock’s own salary as the executive director of growth and regeneration – £172,413 – plus a £12,046 pension contribution. Of this recent recommendation, Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “Since 2016 this administration has been committed to ensuring the council has a strength of leadership that matches the ambitions and challenges of a major urban area.
“During that time we have slimmed the management team down and helped to develop creative and inspiring leaders whilst ensuring there are pathways for a diversity of talent to emerge with the necessary support required to achieve. This is a continually evolving process that also requires continuity of leadership and stability in senior personnel to provide confidence in the next generation of leaders.
“I’m delighted to see the cross-party selection committee recognise the importance of such continuity in recommending Stephen as the council’s next Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service. Mike has been a consistently strong and supportive leader during his time with us and I am grateful for his years of service and effort.
“Together with our leadership team and Cabinet colleagues, we have seen the city grow and continue to prosper despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging cost of living crisis. This is in no small part to Mike’s excellent leadership and the support of the team around him.
“I wish him all the best in his new challenge and look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth handover of responsibility. Having worked with Stephen for some time now I am very confident we have the right person to see us through the immediate challenges we face whilst continuing to deliver sustainable growth that brings all communities with us.”
Stephen Peacock said “It’s been a pleasure to work alongside the Mayor and Mike over the past few years. During that time we’ve tackled some major challenges, including the pandemic, and made significant progress in delivering our key priorities.
“Subject to Full Council’s approval I look forward to helping lead the organisation in the period ahead.”