Newcastle City Council’s Chief Executive Pat Ritchie has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to Local Government and public service reform.
Pat, who has led the city council’s executive team since January 2013, dedicated her honour to the city and the work of councils across the country.
“I am very proud to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours,” she said. “I have spent most of my career in the public sector, most recently in local government, and could not be prouder to have done so.
“The important work of councils has never been in sharper focus than it is today, continuing to deliver services and supporting our residents and businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everyone who works within local government strives to improve people’s lives, to support communities and create effective partnerships with our businesses, health service and education providers.”
Pat, who is married with a son and daughter played a leading role in securing the multimillion-pound investment deal to bring Legal and General to Newcastle’s flagship Helix city quarter.
As a former chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency (now Homes England) and former deputy chief executive of the One North East Regional Development Agency, Pat continues to influence housing and economic policy nationally and was appointed earlier this year to chair the Government Property Agency.
She led on negotiations with the Government for the North of Tyne devolution deal and has been at the forefront of the region’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under her leadership the Council worked with health partners to develop a wraparound approach to tackling the virus in care homes and other settings to ensure the protection and support of the most vulnerable in Newcastle. She is also a non-executive director of Newcastle Hospitals Trust.
Pat stepped in to Chair the Core Cities network, steering the group in developing their collective response to the crisis. She is influencing national thinking through the Local Economic Recovery Group led by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and is joint Chair of the Recovery Coordination Group, a chief executive level forum across public services, businesses and civil society spanning the North East, to coordinate and steer the region’s recovery.
“I feel lucky to have worked with so many good and innovative people in my career, none more so than the current team at the city council,” she said. “I feel honoured to represent and lead the great city of Newcastle and truly humbled to be recognised in this way.”