Interim Chief Executive Rick O'Farrell who is leaving his role at the council this week

Tributes paid to Interim Chief Executive as he leaves role

Tributes have been paid to the council’s Interim Chief Executive Rick O’Farrell who is leaving the organisation this week. 
Rick, who has had a distinguished career in local and national government, has been with Northumberland County Council over three years, helping steer the organisation through a period of change and a global pandemic. 
He said: “When I came here to Northumberland back in October 2019 as the Interim Director of Regeneration I expected to be here for six months and then be gone on to my next assignment, but somehow it didn't work out like that. 
And becoming Interim Chief Executive was totally unexpected, but also a great privilege. There’s been some difficult times and some challenging events, but it’s also been immensely rewarding. 
“I want to thank everyone in the council for their support – from members through to all the staff. They’ve continued to deliver absolutely first-class services to our residents, protecting communities and the most vulnerable people in society, and driving forward key projects that provide better facilities for our residents and will lead to a growth in our economy. 
I think storm Arwen was a fantastic demonstration of that - the way everybody in the council pulled together to help people facing real difficulties and I was so proud to be part of it.” 
Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone at the council when I wish Rick well for the future and thank him for leading this organisation with such enthusiasm and determination over the past eight months. 
“There have been many challenges during Rick’s tenure, along with many opportunities, and Rick has approached both with the same levels of determination, skill and good humour we all want to see at the top of an organisation. 
“He will be a big miss, but I know we have been left in the extremely capable hands of our incoming Chief Executive Dr Helen Paterson and our new executive leadership team who are relishing the opportunity to take our great county forward over the coming years.” 
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