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Tracy Bullock CEO at UHNM to retire,

Written by on 9 January 2024

Chief Executive Tracy Bullock today announced she was retiring from her position at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM).  

Tracy, who has worked at UHNM for more than five years and in the NHS for over 40 years has been open about her health challenges since being diagnosed with a long-term health condition 18 months ago.

In her message to UHNM colleagues Tracy said: “After considerable thought and with very mixed emotions, I have made the decision to take ill health retirement.  Throughout my 14-year tenure as a Chief Executive I have always prided myself on my visibility and connection with staff.  Some 18 months ago I was diagnosed with a long-term condition and the circumstances of my ill health now means I am unable to use this strength or to manage the demands of being a Chief Executive.  I have always been resolute that if I cannot give 100 per cent  then I will step aside.

“Since I started at UHNM I have been clear and vocal about what a great organisation it is and how coming to work here with you was the best career decision I ever made.  Working alongside such dedicated individuals has been an honour and I am immensely proud to have been part of our UHNM family.”

UHNM Chairman David Wakefield said: “I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to an outstanding leader.  Tracy has transformed UHNM, navigating us out of financial special measures, putting quality and caring at the heart of everything we do which has been recognised by the CQC, as well as supporting and driving improvements throughout what must be the NHS’s most challenging times, the Covid-19 pandemic.”

He added: “On a personal level I have loved working with Tracy. Her energy, commitment and openness underpinned a strong and effective board. Her ability to drive performance through engagement is notable and her sense of humour is always appreciated by everyone around her. I am saddened that we will be losing her and she will be sorely missed by everyone in the organisation. We all wish Tracy well in her retirement.”

Tracy will be staying with UHNM until the end of June 2024 to enable a recruitment process to take place and a seamless transition as a new chief executive is appointed.

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Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s share of any council tax increase is set to be 8p a week or less for most residents.

Under proposals being considered by the Borough Council for 2024/25, 95 per cent of residents would face an annual increase ranging from £2.84 to £4.27.

The suggested 1.99 per cent increase puts the authority on target to set a balanced budget and continue its investment in town centre regeneration for Newcastle and Kidsgrove, improving Newcastle’s historic market and moving towards achieving net zero carbon emissions.

A recent review of Newcastle-under-Lyme against other, comparable authorities nationally put the Borough Council in the top performing 25 per cent for low cost collection of Council Tax, processing planning applications on time and for receiving low numbers of complaints.

The authority was also in the top 50% of councils for low waste collection costs, high recycling rates and low numbers of fly-tipping incidents.

Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “We are determined to deliver good quality local services as efficiently as possible, while investing in the future.

“In common with many borough councils we face rising fuel and energy costs, a larger than expected pay award for staff, and increasing demand for temporary accommodation for the homeless and vulnerable.

“Despite these challenges, I am proud to say that thanks to careful management and cost reduction programmes the council remains financially stable, which means 19 out of every 20 residents will only pay between 5p and 8p a week extra for the services we provide.”

The authority is committing to spending £41.2 million between 2024/25 and 2026/27 as the Ryecroft and York Place areas of the town centre face wholesale regeneration, with housing, multi-storey car park, shops, offices and open space.

The intention is to generate greater footfall and help connect the north side of the town centre with the historic market, which is also being reinvigorated.

At the same time as overseeing regeneration, the council is also proposing building up its reserves to £2.157 million in case of emergencies.

Stephen Sweeney, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Finance, Town Centres and Growth, said: “As well as managing our parks, protecting green spaces, investing in the town centre and collecting the bins on time, in recent years the council has faced a huge increase in workload caused by the problems at Walleys Quarry.

“Although regulation of the landfill remains the responsibility of the Environment Agency, we have been obliged to spend a great deal of time and money challenging problems there and, if needs be, we must maintain the resources to stand up for our residents again in future.”