Retirement of Eileen Howat announced - message from Leader of the Council
"After ten years as Chief Executive of South Ayrshire Council, Eileen Howat has decided that the time is right for her to retire.
"Eileen intends to leave in the autumn of this year. After nearly forty years working at the forefront of local government and a decade in the role of Chief Exec, Eileen feels that it's time to hand over the reins and I fully understand and support her decision.
"Eileen has a wealth of experience and during her time at the Council, she has filled a number of positions such as Head of Service and Executive Director with responsibilities including finance, benefits, ICT, employee and customer services, legal services, policy and performance, communications, and community planning.
"In May 2013, Eileen became Chief Executive and in ten years at the helm, has steered us through some challenging times, most notably the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Eileen has supported staff and given them the confidence to do their jobs to the best of their ability. She has shown them that anyone can go from a trainee to Chief Executive with hard work and commitment.
"When I first became Leader of the Council, Eileen's help was invaluable. She was able to guide me through the role and I knew that no matter what transpired, she would be there to provide some expert advice.
"I know Eileen has not taken this decision lightly and I have no doubt she will be missed, not only by myself and the administration, but by a huge number of people both inside and outside the Council.
"Leading up to the autumn, Eileen and I will ensure a smooth transition to the next Chief Executive. It will then be our task to build on the outstanding work which Eileen has put in place during her time at the Council.
"I would like to wish Eileen and her family all the very best for the future. I have no doubt she will excel at whatever she decides to do next, albeit after a well-deserved break."
Councillor Martin Dowey, Leader of South Ayrshire Council