Sir John Elvidge to retire

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Sir John Elvidge, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, has announced that he will retire towards….

Sir John Elvidge, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, has announced that he will retire towards the end of June after seven years in the post.  Sir John’s successor will be Peter Housden, currently Permanent Secretary to the Department of Communities and Local Government within the UK Government.

Sir John said:
“Leading the Civil Service supporting two Scottish Governments, through seven years of Scotland’s experience of devolution, has been a hugely stimulating and enjoyable role. It is a difficult job to leave but it calls for someone who can provide continuity of leadership before and after the Scottish elections next year and in supporting Ministers in planning and delivering the response to the public expenditure changes which lie ahead.

“I am proud of the way in which the Civil Service has adapted to the continuing development of devolution. I am confident that I am leaving behind an organisation well placed to tackle the challenges of the future.

“I am delighted that Peter Housden will be my successor. He brings great leadership experience, which will be a huge asset in this exceptionally broad and complex job. I wish him every success and as much satisfaction from the job as I have had.”

First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with John Elvidge. He merits enormous credit for the professionalism with which the Civil Service supported the change of government in 2007 and has worked with me and my Ministerial team since then to make a success of Scotland’s experience of minority government.

“I fully understand his decision to stand down after seven years in the role, in order to ensure continuity of leadership for the Civil Service over the period before and after the Scottish elections next May. That continuity will also assist in the process of responding to the hugely challenging financial position faced by the Scottish public sector in coming years. John has set a new standard of leadership to emulate in these tough times ahead.

“I am delighted Peter Housden has been appointed Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government. The responsibility for leading Civil Service support for the Scottish Government has clearly become one of the most demanding Permanent Secretary roles.

“It is a great advantage that Peter Housden will bring five years experience as a Permanent Secretary to the role. In giving my agreement to the appointment, I have been impressed by his knowledge of the exciting progress which has been made in Scotland’s approach to government and his enthusiasm for building on that.”

Head of the Civil Service, Sir Gus O’Donnell said:
“I would like to extend my good wishes to John Elvidge on his retirement from the Scottish Government. He has been an excellent and loyal permanent secretary, and I’m grateful for all he has done in Scotland, in particular, his support to two Scottish Governments through seven years of Scotland’s development of devolution. I am also very grateful for his contribution to the leadership of the Civil Service.”