Chief Executive

The current Chief Executive is Gillian Norton, who was appointed in August 1999.

About the Chief Executive

The Chief Executive is the senior officer who leads and takes responsibility for the work of the paid staff of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (the Council). The Council is a large and diverse organisation with a turnover of more than £400 million. It is responsible for a very wide range of statutory services and has a budgeted establishment of 1,099 non schools staff (2016/17). The Council is judged by external regulators to be performing well providing high quality, low cost services which represent good value for money.

The post of Chief Executive is selected on merit, against objective criteria, following public advertisement.

As head of the paid service, the Chief Executive works closely with elected members to deliver:

  • Leadership: working with elected members to ensure strong and visible leadership and direction, encouraging and enabling managers to motivate and inspire their teams.
  • Strategic direction: ensuring all staff understand and adhere to the strategic aims of the organisation and follow the direction set by the elected members.
  • Policy advice: acting as the principal policy adviser to the elected members of the Council to lead the development of workable strategies which will deliver the political objectives set by elected members.
  • Partnerships: leading and developing strong partnerships across the local community to achieve improved outcomes and better public services for local people.
  • Operational management: overseeing financial and performance management, risk management, people management and change management within the council.

Gillian's background

Gillian started her career as a graduate trainee at the Greater London Council and after a number of promotions became Assistant to the Director General. In 1985 on the demise of the GLC she moved to Woking Borough Council with responsibilities for policy, performance and human resources. In 1994 she was appointed Chief Executive of Wokingham Borough Council.


The Chief Executive’s salary is set by the Council and the current range is £168,663 to £177,976. Progression through the range is subject to annual performance appraisal. During 2015/16 Mrs Norton was paid on the salary grade equal to £177,976, however she has worked reduced hours from 2 November 2015, therefore the actual salary paid in 2015/16 was £147,041. The reduction in hours was in preparation for the Shared Service Arrangement (SSA) with Wandsworth.

Mrs Norton receives no other payments, including elections for which she is Returning Officer or Acting Returning Officer.

In the last financial year (2015/16) her expenses (for train, car mileage and parking) were £174.25. Expenses are paid only for costs incurred and evidence of expenditure is required.

Mrs Norton was a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). Both she and the Council contributed to the pension.

Working arrangements

The Chief Executive is expected to work such hours as are necessary to ensure the job gets done. This routinely involves evenings as well as the standard Monday to Friday business week.

Occasional weekend working is required. The Chief Executive is 'on call' at all other times, particularly to cover emergency planning requirements.

No extra payments are made for such extended hours.

The Chief Executive is entitled to 35 days paid leave each year

Contact the Chief Executive

Gillian Norton

Chief Executive
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Civic Centre

Telephone: 020 8891 7908
Fax: 020 8891 7703

Updated: 31 August 2016