Joanne Roney OBE has been named the Local Authority Chief Executive of the Year at the annual MJ (Municipal Journal) Awards 2021.
The award is always a hard-won accolade, with dozens of entries from the top tier of leaders in local government across the UK.
The category judges were looking for someone who has displayed outstanding leadership, innovation, determination and commitment to their authorities and their communities.
Following an 18months like no other, Joanne has been central to Manchester’s response to Covid-19, becoming a key voice in Manchester’s economic recovery plan – an £800m ‘game changing’ programme of investment to help the city bounce back from the pandemic and deliver continued economic growth for the city.
Soon after taking up the role of Chief Executive at Manchester City Council in 2017 – the first female to do so – Joanne took a leading role following the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena, part of a multi-agency response that included emergency services, health and social care, and Government agencies.
Since, Joanne has taken an active role as lead CEX for skills in Greater Manchester to improve employment opportunities for local people, while using her position to drive decentralisation away from Whitehall and has been a passionate advocate for the levelling up agenda.
Joanne has also shown demonstrable leadership on equality, addressing inequality both organisationally and city-wide, showing her desire to lead a city that is actively anti-racist, while driving an agenda to improve life chances for all Manchester people.
Joanne is also currently the President of Solace – an organisation committed to promoting excellence within the public sector.
“My career in local government has taken me to some extraordinary highs, while also challenging me more than I could have ever imagined.
“When I look back at my 16-year-old self, starting my first day as an apprentice at Birmingham City Council, never would I have believed the journey from that day to this.
“The award comes with great pride, and I thank the judges for their decision – but it’s important to remember that I could not do what I do without the help and support of an incredible team of people, and an organisation full of dedicated staff.
“So, this award is as much for them as it is for me.”