South Lanarkshire Council chief executive to retire

South Lanarkshire Council chief executive to retire

 Cleland Sneddon

South Lanarkshire Council chief executive Cleland Sneddon has revealed his intention to retire.

Cleland will step down at the start of January after 34 years in local government, nearly eight of them as a council chief executive, first at Argyll and Bute and since 2019 at South Lanarkshire.

Cleland said: “The people who know me best know just how much South Lanarkshire Council means to me and how proud I was to be able to return to the council as Chief Executive over the last four years.

“My return coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic and then we faced the cost-of-living crisis. These challenges have seen local government at its very best, as we collectively did everything in our power to protect and support people, businesses and communities in those extraordinary times.

“I think I will leave the council in a better frame of mind, with its head held high and as an outward-looking, progressive organisation. These are the most challenging of times but the quality of staff in this council is second to none. It has been a huge honour to have worked with them.”

Councillor Gerry Convery, depute leader of South Lanarkshire Council, said: “I know I speak for all councillors across all the political groups when I say it has been a pleasure to work with Cleland.

“He has brought a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the role at a time when local government has been under financial and other pressures and needed those attributes more than ever. He can be particularly proud of his work to deliver the best possible support for our communities during the Covid pandemic.

“We are sad to see Cleland go, but he leaves South Lanarkshire Council in the best place it could be, and he will be a hard act to follow.”

When he retires Cleland will have just completed his year as chairman of SOLACE Scotland, the organisation that represents council chief executives and senior officers across Scotland.

He previously worked at Motherwell District Council, Aberdeen City Council, Strathclyde Regional Council and Clydesdale District Council, before joining South Lanarkshire Council at reorganisation in 1996. After 2008, he had a period at Midlothian Council before moving to Argyll and Bute, initially as executive director of community services.

The recruitment process to appoint the council’s next chief executive will begin immediately.

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