Council boss leaves

Karime Hassan leaves Sidmouth post for full-time role with Exeter City Council

JUST weeks after a working party discussed the consequences of axing top jobs to save money, one of East Devon District Council corporate directors is leaving.

Karime Hassan is returning to Exeter City Council to take on the full-time roll of Director of Economy and Development, leaving his post as one of four corporate directors at EDDC after eight years.

Karime, together with Denise Lyon, Peter Jeffs and Diccon Pearse, are top of the management strata at EDDC bar its chief executive Mark Williams.

From 1999 to 2002 Karime worked as head of planning services for ECC.

Since April he has worked there on a part-time basis and has done, said a spokesman, “a tremendous job for us.”

But it was clear to Karime and ECC that leading on the multiple and complex major development issues facing Exeter, as well as being responsible for overall management of the directorate, could not be continued on a two days a week basis.

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“Following the agreement of all four party group leaders, we therefore decided to offer Karime the job on a permanent full-time basis and we are pleased to say that he has accepted that offer.”

Details of when Karime will start in his full-time role are still being finalised.

EDDC’s leader, Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, said: “We are naturally sad to lose a talented director, who has achieved a great deal here since he joined East Devon in 2002.

“It’s ironic that Karime should announce his departure only days after recording the significant achievement of setting Devon’s first free-standing settlement to be built in Devon since the Middle Ages on its way.

“Cranbrook was finally given the go-ahead last week after years of work by Karime, his team and other partners.

“Among his many other accomplishments are successfully building the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point delivery team, which worked with partners to attract over �85 million in funding for projects on the Exeter and East Devon border.”

She said Karime had headed up the team that delivered a ground-breaking recycling and waste collection service in East Devon.

“We wish him well on his return to Exeter and look forward to working with him and colleagues at Exeter City Council on the many important joint projects that will need to be delivered in the coming years to ensure the continued economic growth of this key part of the region,” she added.

An EDDC spokesman confirmed the working party looking at ways in which the council might balance its budget, had considered the option of making changes to its management structure.

“It is too early to say what impact Karime’s departure may have on this exercise,” he added.