EAST Hampshire District Council chief executive Sandy Hopkins is taking on a new challenge leading Southampton City Council.

Ms Hopkins was chief executive at Hanvant Borough Council from September 2007, and has successfully led both councils since 2009.

While at the helm she has led:

•The merging of EHDC and HBC’s management team to maximise skills and ensure residents get the best possible value for money

•Generating income to support services. Last year £455,000 from consultancy services went to EHDC

•Introducing a business-like culture EHDC has just been shortlisted for the Local Government Chronicle’s ‘Entrepreneurial Council of the Year’ award

•The regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon which is currently hailed as a national example of how to create a green and healthy community

•The development of EHDC’s major commercial property portfolio.

She also negotiated a £30m leisure contract for two new centres and improved facilities without taxpayers paying a penny – although many residents in Alton have been very unhappy with the scheme

In addition to her chief executive roles Ms Hopkins chairs the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Chief Executives’ Group. and participates in national government initiatives to improve public services with the Local Government Association.

Ms Hopkins said: “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved for our customers and communities during my time as the chief executive.

“I am especially proud of my amazing colleagues and the great work they do with professionalism and dedication every day. The councillors have been so supportive of the organisations and their vision and drive for their area have been so motivating.

“I am passionate about public services. Getting up every morning to make a difference to people’s lives and the places they live and work is the best job in the world.

“East Hampshire and Havant are both on fantastic trajectories to continue to achieve exceptional outcomes for residents and businesses.

“I look forward to seeing them go from strength to strength.”

EHDC leader Richard Millard lead the praise saying: “Sandy has led major change across our organisation and established our excellent partnership with Havant, which has been hugely beneficial to both communities.

“She will be an extremely hard act to follow.”