EELGA bolsters senior leadership team with two new appointments

The East of England Local Government Association (EELGA) has appointed two experienced leaders to bolster the organisation’s team.

EELGA, made up of a membership of more than 50 local councils in the east, has recently appointed Sharon Bleese as Head of Business Development and Grace Shaughnessy as Commercial Manager.

It follows the appointment of Cairistine Foster-Cannan as Chief Executive in February.

Cairistine said Sharon and Grace would play a key role in encouraging collaboration and partnership between local councils in the region and in ensuring they have a united voice in Government.

She said: “It is great to welcome Sharon and Grace to the team, they both have a wealth of experience in working with local authorities and will be a driving force for progress at EELGA.”

Sharon has significant experience in the sector and previously had senior roles at Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils and Coastal Partnership East as part of a collaboration between East Suffolk Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and North Norfolk District Council.

She said: “I am looking forward to working with the team at EELGA and believe that this is a great opportunity to connect with local authorities across the whole region and really help them to understand the support available through EELGA and the Talent Bank.

“Our members can access a wide range of support through the experienced professionals that make up our Talent Bank Associates. Our Associates have experience across a range of needs including Member training and development, housing reviews, financial resilience and a full range of HR support.

“This in turn will help them to make a difference to their communities.”

Grace previously worked at Essex County Council managing executive recruitment, later moving into a business partnering role for resources within adult social care and managing the strategic resourcing partner team.

She will play a crucial role in looking after EELGA’s Associates and Talent Bank projects.

“I am thrilled to join the EELGA team,” she said.

“Talent Bank is able to offer our members access to professional consultancy but without lengthy procurement as this is covered by a Teckal exemption. This means that we can support our members to move forward with important projects quickly.

“I have seen first-hand the incredible work EELGA does with councils in the east of England and am very proud to be part of the team.”