North Kesteven District Council’s Deputy Chief Exceutive Alan Thomas has passed on his spreadsheets having retired after 27 years with the authority and exactly 45 years in local government.
Alan, 62, grew up in South Wales and skipped finishing his A-levels aged 17 for the lure of a salary as clerk in the City Engineer’s office of what is now Swansea City Council.
He trained as an accountant in the finance department where he met his mentor Joe Morris before moving on to West Glamorgan County Council, then South Derbyshire District Council as Assistant Finance Director, then deputy treasurer at South Somerset District Council.
His long spell with NKDC began on July 1, 1988, as a young finance director. He said: “I had never even heard of Lincolnshire - it was awfully flat up here compared to Somerset and Wales.”
Sadly he lost his first wife in an accident but found new wife Marion and the last 27 years have “just disappeared”.
Unfortunately he handed in his notice last year after experiencing two heart attacks within 18 months.
As well as finance director, Alan took on the role of a corporate director before being appointed deputy chief executive, as well as trying his favourite role as a bin man. He said they have been innovative in ways of securing money for projects such as new offices, council houses and leisure centres. Alan has had to contend with changes including the switch from Rates Bills, to Poll Tax, to Council Tax. He has sat in over 200 Full Council meetings, acted as chief executive twice and returning officer for elections.
Over his 27 years he has had a close working relationship with council Leader, Marion Brighton, saying: “She is the most inspirational person I have met in local government.”
He sees part of his legacy as developing a family orientated culture within the council, known as “the NK way”, recognising everyone as having a role to play.
Alan will be persuing at a few business interests, charity work with Sleaford Rotary Club and golf. He raised nearly £4,000 during his captaincy at Sleaford Golf Club to buy two defibrillators. He has not ruled out being tempted back as a councillor, but it could not be with NKDC as he lives outside the district in Carlton Scroop.
He will be replaced by corporate director, Karen Bradford.