Hackney CEO to retire after 40 years in local government

Portrait of Hackney chief executive Tim Shields

Hackney council's chief executive Tim Shields is retiring. - Credit: Thaddaeus Brown for Hackney Council

Hackney council's chief executive has announced his retirement following 13 years in the role and more than 40 years of public service.

Tim Shields has worked for the council for almost 19 years and is set to retire at the end of May and recruitment for his successor will begin soon.

Working closely with local elected leaders, Tim has focused on improving services and helped transform a poorly performing local authority into one of "the best in the country", a statement which was formally recognised in 2016 when Hackney was voted Council of the Past 20 Years at the 2016 Local Government Chronicle Awards. 

Tim told the Gazette: “I am very proud to have served the residents of this borough, our mayor and councillors, and to have led this organisation for so many years."

He said he has worked alongside "wonderful colleagues" and attributed the council's achievements to the "hard work" of staff doing "their very best for the borough, day in, day out". 

“It has been a wonderful journey," he added. 

The retiring chief executive supported the delivery of the 2012 London Olympic Games and helped secure its legacy with the transformation of public transport, investment in the borough and jobs for residents. 

Most Read

He has managed finances and public services, despite more than a decade of cuts to local authority budgets and also led the council's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hackney Mayor Phil Glanville said the borough has much to thank Tim for, adding he has thoroughly earned his retirement: “Tim played such a vital role in the transformation of Hackney from one of the worst local authorities in the country to being one of the very best.

"His leadership has been so important to the council and the borough, and he will be missed very much by members and officers alike.


Portrait of Mayor of Hackney Phillip Glanville

Mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville. - Credit: Hackney Council

“I’d particularly like to thank him for all the support he has given me as mayor."

Tim's 40 years in local government saw him serve Wandsworth, Epsom and Ewell, and Lambeth before joining Hackney Council in 2002 when he became corporate director of finance and resources.

He was appointed interim chief executive in 2007, a role which became permanent the next year.