Chief Exec Harry Catherall, Leader of the Council Arooj Shah and Emma Barton Published: Thursday, 24th February 2022

Oldham Council makes a new key senior team appointment to help drive its ambitious regeneration plans forward and improve the services it offers to residents.

Emma Barton, currently Director of Economy at the Council, will now take up new role as Executive Director for Place and Economic Growth.

Emma has extensive experience as a senior leader and brings a strong strategic vision, which puts residents at the heart of service delivery and decision-making. Having led the Council’s ‘Creating a better place’ programme which pulled together a comprehensive vision to create a new plan and direction of travel for the borough, Emma was able to use corporate land and property to bring forward new homes and job opportunities for residents. Emma also managed to identify £9m of savings during her time as Director of Economy by thinking creatively when it came to property and asset management, releasing much needed housing and employment land in addition to releasing funds allowing the Council to better support residents.

After qualifying with a Master of Engineering from University of Leeds, Emma began her career within civil engineering in the private sector. From there she became involved in local authority work, following a transport project management pathway.  Seeing the difference she could make at a local level, Emma took a position as a Senior Transport Engineer at Wigan Council and worked her way up to Assistant Director of Economy and Regeneration before moving to Oldham Council.

Of her new appointment, Emma Barton, said: “Oldham has so much potential and is on the cusp of something really exciting. You’ll already have seen the ambitious plans we have in place for the town and I’m grateful that so many residents took the time to give their thoughts on the projects. We’re now about to go into delivery mode that will see huge transformation and breathe new life into the town centre.

“I will continue to work hard for Oldham residents and businesses and look forward to being part of Oldham’s vibrant future.”

Emma will lead on the regeneration of the borough, including putting the ambitious town centre plans into action and building more homes for local people, creating jobs and ensuring local people have improved access to work opportunities, and supporting businesses to thrive as she drives forward inclusive and sustainable economic growth. She will also oversee the delivery of core environmental services like highways, waste services and our beautiful parks and green space, ensuring Oldham is a great place to visit with lots of family friendly and accessible places to go.

Harry Catherall, Chief Executive of Oldham Council, said: “Emma is an inspiring leader with an impressive track record of delivering complex regeneration programmes and someone who has excelled in her three years at the Council.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming Emma to her new position on our strong and talented executive management team. She's an exceptional leader who share our values and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience.

“This key position has a vital role to play in helping us deliver our ambitious regeneration plans for residents and in delivering high-quality services that support the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Leader of Oldham Council, Councillor Arooj Shah, said: "As well as forging ahead with our key regeneration priority, Emma will also be taking the lead on our core Council services. These are the services that our residents have told us matter to them the most, like keeping our streets clean through the 'Don't Trash Oldham' campaign, emptying bins, filling potholes and looking after our parks and green spaces.

"I look forward to working with Emma in her new role to improve service and make a real difference to residents' lives."

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