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We are a cross-party, member-led network, providing a single voice for our member councils

Sixty seconds with… Yvonne Rees

Published: 21 October 2022

Yvonne is Chief executive of Cherwell District Council and Chair of the DCN’s Chief Executives Group

What was your first job? As a ‘sporty girl’, my first job was that of a lifeguard at the local pool. This paid my way through uni.

What’s given you the most career satisfaction? Leading the delivery of the 2012 London Olympics in Surrey. Working in partnership, I led successful delivery of the three road cycling events on days 1, 2 and 5 of the Games, including the running of athlete training camps and the Olympic transport network.

What’s the most exciting thing your council is doing? Cherwell District Council is standing alone as a proud, innovative and high performing district council for the first time in over 10 years, having ended our joint management with our colleagues at Oxfordshire County Council. We are embracing the opportunity this new phase provides.

What single thing – not money or devolution – could most improve local government? Whole-system thinking and timely comms. Comms, comms comms should be the priority!

What is your biggest local government annoyance? The lack of joined up thinking and failure to put the customer at the heart of all we do. That and… poor communication, of course.

What keeps you up at night? Sleeping has never come easy to me sadly, so nothing specific keeps me awake. Unless Gladys the puppy is on the rampage, of course.

Tell us something surprising about yourself For those old enough to remember Strictly in the Len Goodman era – “severrrrn” – yep, I was one of his less successful dance students. I never reached the World Championships.


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