Deputy Spokesperson for Children and Families
Chief Executive, Wokingham Borough Council
Susan Parsonage has been Chief Executive for Wokingham Borough Council since April 2019 and has been driving the vision, ambition and strategic direction – also putting residents at the heart of the organisation.
In the past years as well as leading and enabling a fantastic and innovative response by staff to COVID and there’s been significant improvements in social care for adults and children, and a positive step change in our relationship with the voluntary and community sectors. Also a focus on greater community involvement, and co-production and data informed decisions. Seen as the healthiest place in England there’s a continued investment in health and wellbeing as well as taking forward action on key issues e.g. climate change.
Previously as Chief Executive of Lancaster City Council she focussed on turning vision into reality, increasing true partnership working across sectors, in particular businesses & Lancaster University. Susan also led local authority modernisation and she made place shaping a priority, making the most of Lancaster’s offer, and facilitated a strong partnership narrative and brand to raise the profile of the area.
Susan was previously Director of Safer Communities and Housing at Ealing Council, where she held a lead role in enhancing safety, regulation and overseeing housing. Whilst at Ealing she transformed services, maximising cross-organisational working and problem solving to deliver real improvements for residents. . An approach which resulted in increased enforcement, crime reductions, and more effective tackling of anti-social behaviour and private sector housing issues at the same time as securing substantial efficiency savings.
Susan first started in local government in 1998, running a campaign for Chester Council raising awareness about violence against women and children. Prior to that, she completed a law degree and master of philosophy as a mature student, starting her working career at BT.
Susan also held, until 2016, a Non-Executive Director role at Catalyst Housing and chaired a small housing association in Hackney.