The Chief Executive of Woking Borough Council has announced she is stepping down from the role. Julie Fisher, who joined in April 2021, will remain with the organisation until February 2024 when Council will agree its budget for 2024/25.
Announcing the news to council staff, Julie said: “I have made the difficult decision to leave Woking Borough Council.
“It has been a privilege to lead the organisation through significant change and to serve the residents of Woking since 2021. With the support of councillors and a dedicated officer team, I have led a whole systems approach to address the significant challenges that the Council faces.
“My role has been unique in respect of its challenges and demands, and has required significant energy, time and commitment. Having given that energy and commitment for two and a half years, I believe the organisation is now firmly on the path to recovery and that now is the right time for me to hand over to somebody with fresh energy to continue to drive Woking’s recovery.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with a committed and talented team and Councillors who all work in the best interests of residents and businesses, and I am very grateful for their support throughout my time here at Woking.
“I will now work with councillors, commissioners, and the senior officer team to ensure there is a smooth transition to new leadership arrangements and I remain committed to supporting the organisation through to the Full Council meeting on Thursday 8 February 2024.”
Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, Leader of Woking Borough Council, added: “I want to thank Julie for her strong and effective leadership over the last two and a half years. She inherited an authority with unprecedented financial, governance and cultural challenges and she has been instrumental in setting the Council on the path to recovery, overhauling ways of working across the organisation.
“I’m disappointed that I could not persuade Julie to stay with us for longer, but I respect the difficult decision that she has made. She has put in many long hours to unravel and start to tackle Woking’s complex finances.
“Julie has shown remarkable resilience and is respected by staff, councillors and partners alike for the way in which she has led our recovery and improvement journey.
“I know that she will continue to support us in delivering our key priorities through to setting a budget for 2024/25 and will support us in working with Commissioners to ensure an orderly transition to new leadership arrangements. I wish her all the very best for the future.”