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New Director of Legal and Democratic Services appointed

Published: 11 November 2020

We have appointed a new Director of Legal and Democratic Services.


Helen Barrington, who is currently Director of Organisational Development and Democratic Services at Gedling Borough Council is due to take up her post next month.

She will replace current Acting Director of Legal and Democratic Services, Simon Hobbs, who will leave us in early December.

Helen started her career in South Wales at the Welsh Office in Cardiff, and then moved to Bassetlaw District Council in Nottinghamshire as a trainee solicitor. Moving to live in Derbyshire in 1996, Helen qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Helen then worked for Derby City Council before joining Gedling Borough Council as Senior Solicitor in 2007.

During her time at Gedling Helen was promoted to Council Solicitor and Monitoring Officer and is now Director of Organisational Development and Democratic Services with strategic responsibility for and providing leadership and direction to a broad range of services.

Our Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Councillor Angelique Foster said:

“I’m delighted that Helen will be joining us at such a critical time for local government as we play a key role in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, while still providing all the services our residents rely upon.

“Helen will be instrumental in making sure that the council runs in the most efficient way as we follow our enterprising council approach.

Helen said:

“I am extremely pleased to have been appointed as Director of Legal and Democratic Services at Derbyshire County Council.

“I'm looking forward to joining the Council and working with councillors and officers to support the Council's transformation plans and play a key role in the drive to be a more modern and effective council."

Simon Hobbs, current Deputy Director of Legal Services and acting as Director of Legal and Democratic Services since December 2019, will leave us in early December.  Simon worked for us from 1988 to 2001 and returned in 2011, a combined service of 21 years with the authority.

Councillor Foster continued:

“In his time with the council Simon has worked with a rare balance of expertise and compassion, always focused on the best outcomes for Derbyshire.

“Over the last 12 months, while acting as the Director of Legal and Democratic Services, his knowledge and leadership has been invaluable and he will be greatly missed by colleagues and councillors alike.”