The former leader of Brighton and Hove City Council has accepted a senior job at Essex County Council.
Jason Kitcat, who served as a Green councillor for eight years and led Brighton and Hove for three years, is to become executive director for corporate development at Conservative-controlled Essex.
Mr Kitcat’s switch from a political role to an official one is unusual. It follows a two-year stint away from frontline politics as head of policy and public affairs at Brighton and Hove online accountancy firm Crunch.
He said: “I still love local government and I’m pleased to have a chance to serve again in a different capacity. It’s time for something new.”
Mr Kitcat, 38, a father of two, will take up his new post in June and plans to move to Essex with his family after the end of the current school year.
His new post was advertised with a salary of £141,000 to £155,500 a year. This compares with his basic allowance of £11,463 and special responsibility allowance of £28,758 in his final full year as leader of Brighton and Hove – a total of £40,221.
Essex County Council chief executive Gavin Jones said: “I am delighted to welcome Jason to the team at Essex.
“He will be instrumental in making sure we are really innovative in our thinking and how we use intelligence, insight and imagination to create a better county for everyone who lives, works or visits.
“His commercial experience will help to drive us in a more commercial direction and his acumen and knowledge of digital is a perfect fit with our ambitions to harness the benefits of technology in our work.”
Before becoming council leader in Brighton and Hove, where he represented Regency Ward, Mr Kitcat worked for Netmums and the Open Knowledge Foundation.
He said: “I am really excited to be joining the executive team at Essex County Council to lead on commercial and digital innovation along with insight and strategy.
“I’m deeply enthused by the powerful vision of using collaboration and digital tools to become a council which, along with partners, better serves citizens by radically rethinking what public services can be.
“I can’t wait to get started.”
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