Ward to head Shrewsbury planning department

FORMER Dibb Lupton Broomhead lawyer Geoff Ward has been appointed as principal solicitor with Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council.

Ward, who finished work in Dibbs' planning department in October, took up the post at the end of last month.

Articled with West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council he worked in authorities in Kirklees and Manchester before moving to Leeds-based Eversheds Hepworth & Chadwick more than five years ago. In 1992 he joined Dibbs' Leeds office.

Ward says he decided to re-enter the public sector because "it is more interesting and more varied" than specialised private practice work.

His new role will involve enforcement appeals, planning and highways work and appearances in the magistrates court.

"Basically, I was trained as a local government lawyer and I've always found it quite exciting," says Ward.

Ward says the 11-member legal team is unlikely to be affected by compulsory competitive tendering, with its workload falling below the u300,000 de minimis threshold set by the Government.

"My job will principally involve advising the planning and highways committee and the service departments that deal with those functions," says Ward.

Ward says although he enjoyed working in private practice, it is unlikely he will return "in the foreseeable future".

"It was a useful experience , but I always thought that my home was in local government," says Ward.