Hilton Confirmed as City Chief Executive; Acting CEO Lands Pounds 200,000-a-Year Post
Byline: BY LARRY NEILD City Editor
COLIN HILTON last night won the pounds 200,000-a-year job as chief executive of Liverpool City Council with an impressive vision for the future and "fire in his belly".
The former school teacher who rescued Liverpool's education service from privatisation was last night named as the successor to Sir David Henshaw. He aims to build bridges with the business community, tackle the regeneration of North Liverpool - home of both Liverpool and Everton football clubs - and get to grips with the city's crippling skills shortage.
Last night, city council leader Cllr Warren Bradley said: "Colin Hilton was outstanding at the interview and was our unanimous choice.
"There was no fluff and if he delivers what he has promised the city will be transformed. I could not be more delighted and confident we have made the right choice."
Southport-born Mr Hilton, 51, was chosen after a marathon interview session that lasted all day at Liverpool Town Hall.
Last night, he said: "I am thrilled to be appointed. It is a dream come true for me, to be chief executive of one of the major cities of our country, particularly with our birthday year and Capital of Culture year on the horizon. What a time to be given such an opportunity."
He beat four other high-flying executives to the post as chief executive and head of the paid service of Liverpool City Council, one of the most high profile jobs in local government.
For the past three months he has been at the helm in Dale Street as interim chief executive, during which he has impressed local politicians, agency chiefs and business leaders.
Today, he arrives at his Dale Street office ready to start his new life, with a breakfast meeting with Cllr Bradley.
Cllr Bradley said: "Colin's presentation and vision for the city was outstanding. He fully recognises the issues that have to be tackled, particularly with the loss of Objective 1 funding in the future and various other issues.
"We have been through 18 months of turmoil in our city and some may think there would be a temptation to bring in a completely fresh face. It is for that reason I went into the interview procedure with an open mind, and Colin Hilton was outstanding.
"Three months ago he made the step up as interim chief executive and I have worked closely with him since then. His commitment to the city is outstanding and it is obvious he will change the ethos of our city, tackling the difficult issues that need to be resolved and working closely with business, the various agencies and the national government. …