IT was all change at Wigan Council as its chief executive stepped down.
Joyce Redfearn was showered with gifts as her final day with the local authority and PCT ended with an emotional farewell party at the new Life Centre.
Ms Redfearn, who is taking early retirement, specifically chose the venue because she is so proud to have been involved in such a development whose long-time planning and construction have coincided with much of her tenure.
Among those at the presentation were senior councillors, former authority chiefs, an ex-mayor and sporting bigwigs Dave Whelan and Ian Lenagan.
Ms Redfearn was gifted flowers, glasses and a unique mocked-up front page of the Wigan Evening Post from the council’s media team listing some of her career highlights.
The ceremony came just days after Ms Redfearn’s former deputy, Donna Hall, was confirmed as her replacement at a meeting of the full council.
The post will have a much reduced salary and the role of deputy chief executive is to be scrapped to save further cash.
Council leader Lord Smith had already endorsed Ms Hall saying: “Since her appointment as deputy chief executive last August we have already benefited enormously from her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm.”
And of her predecessor he added: “Joyce has made sure Wigan is in a better shape to face up to the challenge of financial reductions, and we are in a much better position than some other authorities.
“We really do appreciate her contributions.”
Ms Redfern said: “I am very proud that you have given me the opportunity to be your chief executive.
“The position was something I cared about very passionately. It has been a privilege, but it has been hard work trying to combine the two roles of chief executive and managing director of the PCT.”