Enfield’s regen lead announces retirement

By James Renoux-Wood - Tue 4 March 2014, 4:50 pm

Neil Rousell, Enfield’s director of regeneration, leisure and culture, has announced he is retiring from the council.

Neil Rousell

In the position, Rousell has overseen the regeneration of many of the borough’s buildings, including Forty Hall, Millfield Theatre, the Dugdale Centre, Green Towers and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre.

More recently, Rousell helped to secure £80m to upgrade the borough’s railway system with the building of the “STAR” line ­– so named because of the stations which it will link – Stratford, Tottenham Hale and Angel Road.

This will allow extra tracks on the line between Stratford and Brimsdown Road stations, improving the frequency of services to Angel Road Station, and spurring the progress of the borough’s £1.3 billion Meridian Water scheme, a key component of Enfield’s regeneration.

Rousell’s service to Enfield stretches back over 38 years, and included employment in roles as a teacher, health adviser, education adviser and senior officer.

Beginning as a PE teacher at Mandeville School in 1976 – which later became Salisbury – Rousell later became the borough’s co-director of children’s services.

As education adviser, Rousell saw the borough achieve excellent OFSTED results and eventually became a government adviser in 2008 within the Department for Education.

During this time, Rousell worked with 15 local authorities on implementing government policy, and providing a perspective on how local and national government could work closely together to achieve significant improvements in children’s services.

Following his retirement as regeneration director – a role he has had at the council since 2010 – the department will be restructured, with Rousell's areas of responsibility being split between other services.

Paul Walker, assistant director of policy, performance and economic regeneration will report to Ian Davis, director of environment. Gary Barnes, assistant director of leisure, libraries and culture will report to James Rolfe, director of finance, resources and customer services.

The transfers will be effective 1 April 2014, after Rousell’s retirement comes into effect.

Doug Taylor, leader of Enfield Council, reserved special mention for the “strong foundations” Rousell had laid for the regeneration of Enfield.

He said: “I would like to place on record my appreciation of all Neil’s outstanding contributions and achievements for the council and wish him a long, prosperous and happy retirement.”

Rousell said: “I’m honoured and extremely proud of my time in Enfield. I have worked with some very professional staff, who have given me excellent support to achieve the things we have over the past four years.

“I will miss everyone but I think it is the right time for me to step back and allow a much younger person to pick up the baton.

“I know regeneration in Enfield is in safe hands and I wish Ian [Davis] and Paul [Walker] good luck in their endeavours.”