Hackney Council Chief Executive to retire

Hackney Council Chief Executive Tim Shields has announced that he will retire at the end of May following 13 years in the role and more than 40 years of public service.

Tim has worked for Hackney Council for nearly 19 years. He became Corporate Director of Finance and Resources in July 2002, before being appointed Interim Chief Executive in May 2007 and permanently in January 2008.

Throughout his time at Hackney, Tim has focused relentlessly on service improvement, identifying areas where resources are needed to accelerate the pace of change. Working closely with the Mayor and councillors, Tim has overseen dramatic improvements in Hackney’s service provision and reputation across the sector and in the community. His achievements include: 

  • Transforming the Council from one of the most poorly performing in the country to one of the best, being voted ‘Council of the past 20 years’ at the 2016 Local Government Chronicle Awards
  • Supporting the delivery of the 2012 London Olympic Games and securing its legacy, including the transformation of public transport, investment in the borough and jobs for local residents
  • Continuing to deliver first-class public services through sound and robust financial management, despite more than a decade of cuts to local authority budgets
  • Leading the Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, working with partners to minimise the spread of the virus and ensure residents and businesses get the support they need

Tim is an accountant by background and has spent over 40 years in local government, working in Wandsworth, Epsom and Ewell, and Lambeth before joining Hackney Council in 2002.

Tim Shields, Chief Executive
I am very proud to have served the residents of this borough, our Mayor and councillors, and to have led this organisation for so many years. Last year marked my 40th year working in local government.

I have worked alongside many wonderful colleagues who have built this organisation up to being one of the best in the country. I have said time and time again that it is due to the hard work of our staff who do their very best for the borough, day in, day out.

It has been a wonderful journey, and I have mixed feelings about making this announcement today. There are some fantastic days ahead for the Council and recruitment for my successor will begin very soon.
Tim Shields, Chief Executive
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
I would like to express my enormous gratitude to Tim for his many years of public service, nearly 20 of which have been in Hackney, first as finance director and for the last 13, as Chief Executive. Indeed, with the exception of my first year as a councillor, he has been the only Chief Executive I have known.

Tim played such a vital role in the transformation of Hackney from one of the worst local authorities in the country to being one of the very best. His leadership has been so important to the Council and the borough, and he will be missed very much by members and officers alike. 

I’d particularly like to thank him for all the support he has given me as Mayor, first when I came mid-term into the role in 2016, and then responding to a different focus and new challenges with the same energy and leadership since. Hackney has much to thank Tim for, and he has thoroughly earned his retirement.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

Tim’s last day of service will be on 31 May 2021. Recruitment to a new Chief Executive will begin soon.