Magazine article Public Finance

People

Magazine article Public Finance

People

Article excerpt

OBITUARY

Jack Woodham, who died in January at the age of 95, was a distinguished member of CIPFA and was president in 1967.

Jack qualified in 1935 and had stories to tell about his early life in local government. In the early 1930s at Reading Council, for example, he distributed Poor Law welfare support on his bicycle and introduced the comptometer to the office after a fortnight's training course in London - and in consequence discovered major errors in the accounts.

Jack's first major post was as deputy city treasurer of Coventry. In 1974, he became the first chief executive of Cleveland after the reorganisation of local government.

During his career he was a key adviser to the Association of Municipal Corporations and its successors and was awarded a CBE for his work in local government.

Jack had a formidable intellect and a thorough grasp of the technicalities of local government finance. Using numeracy and analytical logic, he could point to significant weaknesses in the issues he was addressing.

We take this type of analysis for granted now, but he was a pioneer and his work largely led to the introduction of the original general grant system. He was also a leader in the use of computers. …

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