THE man who signs Wigan’s cheques leaves the borough this week.
Dr David Smith, the council’s executive director for business support services, is taking up a position at Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire.
He joined Wigan Council as Borough Treasurer in 1999 from Ellesmere Port and became involved in the transformation of the area’s sporting facilities, including the then JJB Stadium.
This culminated in a key role as director of the new Leigh Sports Village which was opened by the Queen in 2009.
Dr Smith was Local Government Chronicle Finance Director of the Year 2005 and became Wigan Council’s head of finance, property, human resources, legal and democratic services in 2007.
Speaking to colleagues at the town hall, he said: “It has been a privilege to work for the people of Wigan borough over the last 11 years.
“The borough has been transformed through projects such as Robin Park, Leigh Sports Village and the Wigan Life Centre.
“I am proud that our achievements have achieved national recognition – particularly the management of our resources and I am pleased that I was able to play a part in this team effort.”
Council leader Lord Peter Smith said: “David’s enthusiasm and support for Wigan have been hugely appreciated and of tremendous importance to everyone in the borough and the regard he is held in by officers and members.”
Presenting Dr Smith with a framed picture of the town hall, chief executive Joyce Redfearn added: “David not only understands the intricate details of finance, he also enjoys them!”
Ms Redfearn recalled Dr Smith’s highly technical Cambridge thesis: “Local Government Expenditure in England and Wales: Needs, Resources and Politics” as an example of his attention to detail and unrivalled knowledge.
Dr Smith’s responsibilities will be taken on by the council’s executive director of Performance.
The role is currently vacant following the death of deputy chief executive Sue Johnson.