Kent roads chief forced to quit due to ill-health

Boss had only been in the job for six weeks

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Family Announcements - by Paul Fran­cis bypfran­cis@thek­m­

THE man brought in to sort out Kent’s roads has had to quit his role with Kent County Coun­cil af­ter just six weeks be­cause of ill-health.

John Hobbs was re­cruited in Oc­to­ber from Worces­ter­shire County Coun­cil to act as KCC’s in­terim high­ways di­rec­tor af­ter the un­ex­pected de­par­ture of high­ways and re­gen­er­a­tion di­rec­tor Adam Wilkin­son.

He quit for per­sonal rea­sons af­ter a year in the post.

Now Mr Hobbs, who KCC had hoped would over­see a trans­for­ma­tion of its high­ways direc­torate, has had to stand aside from a job that had been due to be­come full-time af­ter ini­tially start­ing as a two-day a week post.

Cllr Keith Fer­rin (Con), KCC’s cab­i­net mem­ber for the en­vi­ron­ment and high­ways, said: “Un­for­tu­nately, due to ill health, John Hobbs has been un­able to con­tinue his role with Kent High­way Ser­vices.

“We ob­vi­ously wish John well and are sorry that we won’t be able to work with him and ben­e­fit from his ex­pe­ri­ence.

“A per­ma­nent di­rec­tor for high­ways will be re­cruited in due course and Caro­line Bruce will con­tinue her role as in­terim di­rec­tor un­til this ap­point­ment is made.”

The agree­ment with Worces­t­shire County Coun­cil had sparked some con­cerns among the op­po­si­tion par­ties at County Hall, who ques­tioned whether a di­rec­tor shared with an­other coun­cil could do all that was needed to im­prove Kent’s roads.

But at the time, KCC said that Mr Hobbs’ track record meant he was the right man to “take the trans­for­ma­tion of high­ways to the next stage”.

As part of the agree­ment al­low­ing Mr Hobbs to work in Kent, KCC had agreed to help Worces­ter­shire im­prove its waste man­age­ment sys­tems.

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