Two Lancaster City Council chiefs to step down this month

Andrew Dobson
Andrew Dobson

The chief officer of regeneration and planning at Lancaster City Council has announced his retirement and leaves the authority this week.

Andrew Dobson said it been an “absolute privilege to serve the people of the Lancaster district for the last 16 years”.

The announcement comes as the city council’s chief legal officer is also set to leave her post.

Estelle Culligan, the council’s chief officer for legal and governance, will step down on February 24.

The council said that Debbie Chambers, the council’s democratic services manager, would take over the role of monitoring officer until Ms Culligan’s role has been filled.

Mrs Chambers is not legally qualified, but the council said there is no statutory requirement for a monitoring officer to be legally qualified.

A council spokesman said: “Work has commenced to recruit into this position as soon as possible, on an interim basis initially. However, the council needs continuity in respect of the Monitoring Officer position.”

It is unclear as yet as to what will happen to Mr Dobson’s role.

A council spokesman said: “Discussions are now taking place as to the future management of the Regeneration and Planning service, and these will be announced once they have been confirmed.”

Andrew Dobson joined the city council in 2002 from Crewe and Nantwich in Cheshire, where he had been responsible for the allocation for development of the sites which will now become the northern HS2 interchange.

In Lancaster, he negotiated the redevelopment of the Lancaster Moor Hospital site and the Lancaster University Health Innovation Campus, and was responsible for the bid to establish the Bailrigg Garden Village.

It was mountaineering which brought Andrew to Lancaster 16 years ago and it is unfinished business in those activities that he will now turn his attention.

He is set to retire on Friday February 9

He said: “The district is at the cusp of a renaissance with so many truly transformative projects on the horizon. I leave with many fond memories and confident that the future is bright.

“I’ve worked with many wonderful people - both within and outside of the council – and I’d like to thank everyone I have worked with over the years for their friendship and professionalism.”

Coun Janice Hanson, Cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said: “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Andrew.

“His dedication and support to the council has been unparalleled and he has played a significant role in the development of our district.

“I will miss his wise words and counsel and wish him a long and happy retirement.”