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Sefton Chief Executive announces retirement

Sefton Council’s chief executive will retire later this year after more than four decades of public service.

Dwayne Johnson, Chief Executive of Sefton Council, today (23 January) announced he will retire later this year, stepping down from the post he has held since 2019.

He has worked in local government for over 40 years and started out as a Care Assistant in County Durham and worked for a number of Councils in the northeast. Dwayne has worked in local authorities across the Liverpool City Region, first in Knowsley then Halton, before finally arriving at Sefton in 2015 as Director of Social Care and Health, and became Chief Executive after the Council’s previous CEO, Margaret Carney, retired in 2019.

Leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Ian Maher, said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank Dwayne for everything he has done for Sefton over the last 8 years.

“As Chief Executive he has acted with integrity and transparency, and he is highly respected in Sefton, as a dedicated, effective Chief Executive.

“His open and honest approach, with staff, elected members and partners alike, has gained him respect across the Liverpool City Region.

“I know many of our staff have welcomed Dwayne’s approachable and friendly manner, many of whom look forward to reading his fortnightly blog, with hundreds of staff watching and engaging with his monthly “Teams Q&A” live sessions.

“Dwayne led the Council’s response to Covid-19, which saw Sefton at the forefront of testing, with the first ever dedicated walk-through Covid-19 testing sites in Cheshire and Merseyside being deployed by the army and Council staff in Sefton. He also chaired the Merseyside Resilience Forum’s Test and Trace cell, ensuring swift and easy access to testing for all Merseyside residents.

“He will be greatly missed by all of us across the Council, and I know everyone who has worked with him will wish him and his family all the best in his retirement.”

Dwayne said: “Sefton is a very special place, and it has been an enormous privilege to work here to serve the fantastic people of Sefton.

“When I started as a care assistant 40 years ago, it was never part of my career plan to become a Chief Executive. Until very recently I still retained my social work registration and it’s been an honour to serve the profession for so long.

“All of my colleagues across the Council have been amazing, and I always felt an immense sense of pride of having the privilege to lead such a wonderful workforce. We have been through some tough times, but with each one our staff met the challenge and delivered, coming out stronger as a result.

“I would like to thank all colleagues and members for their hard work and dedication, and for making my time at Sefton so enjoyable.

“I am proud of what we are achieving in the borough by working together with our partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors. We are making significant steps forward in integrating with health and with regeneration, with many exciting developments across the borough.

“Sefton will always be special to me, and I will continue to take a keen interest in the borough and will watch it develop and go on to achieve future successes.”

The council will now begin the process to recruit a new chief executive, with Dwayne stepping down once the new Chief Executive is in post.

The post is expected to be advertised in February with the interview process spanning March and April. More information will be available on the Sefton website