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THE NEW chair of the Law Society's Local Government Lawyers Group, Peter Urwin, officially took up his new position at the end of the annual weekend school.
Urwin, who has taken over from David Carter, the county secretary and deputy chief executive at Warwickshire, has been director of administration and county solicitor at Northumberland County Council since 1990. He was previously at Durham County Council where he started as an articled clerk to the clerk of the council and ended up as deputy county secretary and solicitor.
"I have never been tempted by private practice," Urwin said. "Local authorities are big business. Until recently Northumberland was the smallest mainland council but it still covered a population of 310,000 with an annual budget of £190 million. That's an attractive picture for anyone to operate in."
Urwin said that because of the enormous changes in public sector law as a result of CCT and unitary reorganisation his job would be to "oversee the settling down of the new climate".
"Twenty five years ago the atmosphere in local government was one of no change. Now there seems to be constant change. CCT is a worrying issue and it has got to the point where it is difficult to know what to expect next."