Rachael Shimmin is the first CEO for the new unitary council of Buckinghamshire, an organisation which was created on 1 April 2020 bringing together the five predecessor council in the county. This has created a council with a gross budget of over £1bn and is the 2nd largest non-metropolitan unitary council in the country.
The new council was launched in the middle of the Coronavirus emergency and Rachael established and lead a series of partnership arrangements across the County to respond to the pandemic locally.
Rachael came to Buckinghamshire in September 2016 and lead the Counties bid and subsequent implementation of the first county based unitary for 11 years.
Rachael helped to lead local government reorganisation in County Durham, delivering a unitary council in 2009, with significant financial savings and service improvements. The Council went on to become Council of the Year in 2014.
Previous roles include the Corporate Director for Children and Adults Services at Durham County Council having responsibility for a revenue budget of over £800m and team of 3,000+ people. Rachael has extensive experience in the key sectors of children’s services, adult social care, health and community safety.
Rachael has been the North East regional Chair of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)/ The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) and the local government representative on a variety of regional and national boards focusing on issues relating to health and social care.
Rachael is currently the County Council networks CEO lead on adult care and health, a member of the council of the university of Bedfordshire, a Board member of the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives, the lead Chief Executive for the South East Strategic Leaders Group and a member of a number of national government advisory boards. Rachael is a qualified Executive Coach and Peer Reviewer for the Local Government Association.
Rachael lives in Buckinghamshire and enjoys spending time with her 11 year old son and Dexter and Teddy, two adorable but disobedient cockapoos.
She was awarded the OBE for services to social care in 2014.