Preferred candidates for vacant Head of Service roles at East Lothian Council have been announced.

Morag Ferguson, currently Head of Legal and Democratic Services with Fife Council, is preferred candidate for the Head of Corporate Support role. Until 2017 Morag was East Lothian Council’s Service Manager – Legal and Procurement.

Nicola McDowell, currently Schools Group Manager with Midlothian Council, is preferred candidate for the role of Head of Education. She has held her current role for seven years and previously spent 10 years as a Head Teacher at Mauricewood and Bonnyrigg Primary Schools in Midlothian.

Wendy McGuire, currently East Lothian Council's Service Manager for Housing Strategy and Development, is preferred candidate for the role of Head of Housing. Wendy has worked for East Lothian Council for over 20 years at both strategic and operational level. In her current role she has responsibility for delivering the council’s affordable housing programme, local housing and climate change strategies. She previously worked in property management and undertook a secondment at Communities Scotland.

Michaela Sullivan is preferred candidate for the Head of Development role. Michaela has vast experience of planning, regeneration, placemaking and economic development. She was most recently the Director of Group Land and Planning with CALA Group, while previous posts have included Assistant Chief Planner for Scotland.

Chief Executive Monica Patterson said:

“I would like to congratulate Morag, Nicola, Wendy and Michaela on being named as preferred candidates for these key roles in our Council Management Team.

“This follows a very rigorous recruitment and selection process through which elected members comprising the cross-party subcommittee were pleased to receive and consider a number of applications from high-calibre candidates. They were impressed by the experience, expertise and commitment to public service shown by those who applied for the vacancies.

“Morag, Nicola, Wendy and Michaela will be taking up their posts at an important time for East Lothian. While we are continuing to respond to the day-to-day challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential that we plan for the future and build for recovery. 

“With East Lothian being one of Scotland’s fastest growing areas, we need to maintain the pace of change to continue delivering high-quality services for communities while growing the local economy and increasing prosperity.

“Working with all our employees, our new Heads of Service will play a vital role in the Council’s drive to create opportunities for young people, developing skills, employability, delivering our growth agenda, whilst contributing to tackling the challenges of poverty, inequality and climate change.

“We look forward to welcoming Morag, Nicola, Wendy and Michaela to their posts.”

The appointments are subject to the usual pre-employment checks. Start dates will be confirmed in due course.

Published: Tuesday, 23rd March 2021