The Chief Executive of Mansfield District Council has announced she is stepping down from the role in the new year.
Hayley Barsby, who has worked at the council for nearly 22 years, is leaving on 9 January to spend more time with her family.
From starting her working life as an industrial engineer at Mansfield Shoe Group, Hayley moved to the council in 1999 starting as a clerical assistant.
Over the next two decades, she progressed through the ranks to Head of Housing and Director of Communities. She became the Interim Chief Executive in May 2017 before being appointed to the role on a permanent basis in January 2018.
Hayley has led the organisation through some of its most difficult years to date. She took over at a time when the council needed to make significant financial savings as a result of cuts in Government grants. COVID-19 has been a major focus for much of the last two years with the council’s main priorities during the height of the pandemic being on maintaining vital services and supporting the district’s most vulnerable residents.
A married mother of two children with disabilities, Hayley was born and went to school in Mansfield Woodhouse. She lives just outside Mansfield but considers it to be her home town.
She said: “I love Mansfield – both the people and the place and I hope I have made a difference. I will be sad to leave the organisation but I feel the time is right for someone else to take Mansfield to the next level.
“I have dedicated 22 years to Mansfield and the past few years have been challenging, particularly since the start of the pandemic. During my time as Chief Executive I have lost both my parents. My Dad passed away in April and I am still feeling the after-effects of having COVID-19 in the summer.
“Over the years I have made sacrifices for the job, and rightly so, but these life-changing events have made me reassess and I’m now making a conscious decision to put my family first.”
Speaking about her proudest achievements, Hayley said: “I’m most proud of the work we have done with Nottingham Trent University to bring students to Mansfield. It’s early days but I’m proud of the opportunities this is creating for local people to enter employment in some of our anchor institutions such as at Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ Trust.
“I’ve invested a lot of time into understanding the needs of our communities and working closely with partners, particularly around prevention rather than intervention. I’m proud of how we responded to COVID-19 and how we have provided our local communities with hope and support when they needed it, for example, through our food clubs and cultural services outreach work.
“I’m immensely proud of how we built our housing schemes at Poppy Fields and Town View to help meet the needs of over-55s and those who need extra support and care. In 2010, during my time as the Head of Housing, the council built its first new council homes for 30 years. Even then, climate change was at the forefront of our minds and the 43 energy efficient homes on the Bellamy Road estate have either ground source heat pumps or solar panels and water harvesting.
“With the Government funding we’ve secured and the publication of the Local Plan and draft town centre masterplan, we have an ambitious vision for how the town centre and wider district could be transformed in the coming years. I’ve created the right foundations for Mansfield and this is an exciting time for someone to take over and see these major projects through to fruition. I’ll be rallying behind Mansfield all the way.”
Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “Having worked her way up from the bottom to the top, which is inspiring in itself, Hayley has been the font of all knowledge leading Team Mansfield.
“She has been a rock throughout the pandemic, forward-thinking, anticipating problems and ensuring everything is in place to keep our residents and her staff safe, and local businesses protected where possible.
“I will miss her sound and reliable advice and guidance but she has assembled a fantastic team that I have every confidence in to deliver our ambitious plans for the district. The new Chief Executive will be well placed to pick up the torch and carry on the great foundation Hayley has left and lead our residents to a brighter future.”
No decisions have been made on interim arrangements or the recruitment process.