New Director set to take key role in England’s largest county

The person who will take on responsibilities including managing North Yorkshire’s 5,350 miles of highways, the disposal of more than 300,000 tonnes of waste per year and the county’s leading edge trading standards team is looking forward to the challenge.

Karl Battersby, who succeeds David Bowe as Corporate Director of Business and Environmental Services (BES) at North Yorkshire County Council

Karl Battersby, who has been a corporate director for 12 years, will take over from David Bowe who is the current Corporate Director of Business and Environmental Services (BES) at North Yorkshire County Council and who retires this summer.

During David’s decade in charge of BES, he has overseen the successful build and implementation of the Allerton Waste Recovery Plant, improved the condition of the county’s extensive highways network, established a number of successful commercially operating trading arms and functions and supported the development of the county as a venue for world class cycling events which have delivered tens of millions in economic benefits. 

Karl has been the Strategic Director for Economy and Infrastructure at Kirklees Council since 2018. The post has responsibility for all front line environmental services, planning, regeneration and development functions, the Capital programme and all council land and property assets.

North Yorkshire County Council’s Chief Executive Richard Flinton said: “North Yorkshire has a well-earned reputation as a strong and well managed council, committed to making the right decisions for our people and communities so that they can grow and prosper. David Bowe’s leadership of the BES team has played an integral role in our many successes over the past ten years. I am extremely grateful to him for his professionalism and astute leadership during what has been an acutely difficult period for local government with unprecedented budget pressures. 

“I am also very pleased to be welcoming Karl and I am confident his proven track record in managing major programmes of change and improvement will be of huge value at a critical time for the county. Brexit, climate change and increasing demand for our services will all require our absolute focus.

“Karl will take on responsibility for some hugely important initiatives, including our commercial agenda, the maximisation of benefits environmentally and commercially from Allerton Park, our Yorwaste partnership with York and the establishment of our new highways maintenance service. He will also be a key voice for North Yorkshire regionally and nationally.”

The council’s Leader, Cllr Carl Les, said: “We have some very specific challenges around the distances people need to travel to access work, the sheer amount of highways we must manage to facilitate that, public transport, jobs and skills, training and of course our commitment to be carbon neutral by, or as close as possible to, 2030.

“Big ticket items include permanent repairs and a by-pass for the A59 at Kex Gill and the need to dual the A64 – our infrastructure is critical for our economic prosperity looking ahead.

“I look forward to welcoming Karl and I am delighted we have appointed someone of his acumen.”

Speaking of his appointment, Karl said: “I am extremely pleased to be joining North Yorkshire and I am very impressed by the scale, professionalism, high performing track record and innovative approaches to public sector challenges the council leads on.

“I am looking forward to the tackling the challenges and the complexities the role brings and to working alongside such a talented team to deliver the very best for the people, businesses and communities of North Yorkshire.”

Outgoing corporate director of BES, David Bowe, at Tadcaster Bridge


Looking back at his time as the corporate director of BES, David Bowe said: “It’s been a fantastic time and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with some very professional people with great resources and terrific support from our elected members and senior leadership team.

“Of the BES team, well I would say you couldn’t ask for better really and I must admit reflecting on it; I’d love to take up the challenge again, if I was a few years younger. It’s still as enjoyable as it was when I started.

“The role covers such a broad wealth of different things and projects that I’ve led in my time here, varying from significant waste procurement contracts through to recovery from major flooding events such as the damage to Tadcaster Bridge. Looking ahead, a big challenge for Karl will be in highways where we are about to transform the delivery of our contracted services with a new company being established right now.

“On a personal note I also love North Yorkshire, it’s a wonderful place to live.”

Subject to ratification by Full Council in February, Karl will join North Yorkshire County Council in August 2020, following the retirement of David Bowe this summer.

Background

Karl has been the Strategic Director for Economy and Infrastructure at Kirklees Council since 2018. The post has operational responsibility for all the Council’s front line environmental services, as well as housing and development functions, the Council’s Capital programme and all Council land and property assets. He is also the lead for corporate safeguarding.

Karl has previously worked at Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council as Director, Economy & Environment (2016 to 2018) where he oversaw the combination of two directorates.

He also worked at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council from 2007 to 2015 as Strategic Director, Environment & Development Services, as Acting Strategic Director, Environment and Development Services (2007), Director of Planning and Transportation (2004 to 2007) and Development Control Manager (2003 to 2004).

Prior to these roles he also worked at Blackpool Metropolitan Borough Council as Group Planning Officer (Development Control) (2001 to 2003) and Group Planning Officer (Applications Team) (2000 to 2001) and as a Planner (1999 to 2000) at Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council.

 

This story was published 17 January 2020