Edinburgh City Council chief executive Andrew Kerr to retire in June after nine years in role

Andrew Kerr, who has held the role of chief executive at Edinburgh City Council for almost nine years, has announced his is retiring

The chief executive of Edinburgh City Council has announced he will step back from his role later this year.

Andrew Kerr confirmed he will retire in June in an email sent to councillors on Wednesday. He said his decision came as he turns 65 in March, having given “my working life to public service in one form or another”, including nearly 20 years as chief executive of several councils across the UK.

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Before joining Edinburgh in 2015, Mr Kerr had the top job at North Tyneside Council, Wiltshire Council, Cornwall Council and was also briefly the chief operating officer for Cardiff City Council from 2012 to 2013.

City chief executive Andrew Kerr. Picture: Ian GeorgesonCity chief executive Andrew Kerr. Picture: Ian Georgeson
City chief executive Andrew Kerr. Picture: Ian Georgeson

In 2021, Mr Kerr was awarded the OBE for services to the public sector in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list. The Falkirk-born former international sprinter, who won a bronze medal at the 1977 European Athletics Junior Championships, said he had “decided to devote more time to my family and my other interests including some of that time to the charities I am involved in”.

His email continued: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and for the support of the council whilst I have been working in Edinburgh (nine years by the time I leave). It has been a privilege to work for this amazing city and I am lucky to have worked beside some amazing colleagues and dedicated members in pursuit of service to the people of Edinburgh.

“I give you my assurance that I will continue to give 100 per cent of my time, effort and experience on behalf this council till my retirement date.”

Mr Kerr’s last day working for the city council will be Friday, June 14. The recruitment process to appoint the next chief executive will begin immediately.

In a statement, Mr Kerr said: “From my first job as an area leisure officer for Falkirk District Council in 1982, I have been hugely proud to dedicate my entire working life to local government and public service.

“I always said I wanted to finish my career here and it’s been an absolute privilege to work for this fantastic city, particularly during such a challenging and exciting time. I feel fortunate to have worked alongside such amazing colleagues providing vital services for the people of Edinburgh. Of course, there is still much to do and I will continue to focus on that until I hand over to my successor.”

Council leader Cammy Day said: “I’ve enjoyed working with Andrew, both when I was deputy leader and now as leader, and I want to thank him for his hard work over the past nine years in particular – but also for his 42 years’ worth of commitment to public service.

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“Of particular note was his leadership throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, a hugely challenging time for the council and the city, and his role in ensuring Edinburgh paid a fitting tribute to The Queen following her death in 2022. He also played a key part in securing the £1.3 billion City Region Deal for Edinburgh in 2018 and leaves us with an ambitious City Vision for 2050.”

Cllr Day added: “Our attention now turns to finding a high calibre successor, someone capable of facing the undoubted challenges in the years ahead.”



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