PAT Jones-Greenhalgh, who has recently taken the helm as interim chief executive of Bury Council, is passionate about her home town.

HAVING worked her way through the ranks over the past 40 years, Pat Jones-Greenhalgh is proud to be steering the council through its next chapter. Not least because she has made a piece of history by becoming the council’s first female chief executive.

“It’s a great honour to be in the ‘top job’. I’ve lived in Bury all my life, I wouldn’t live anywhere else. It’s got everything you need or want. Its only fault is that it doesn’t shout loud enough about it and I’m making it my job to put Bury on the map!”

Pat is all about bringing the best out in Bury.

She is a warm, driven and fair woman, an experienced leader who knows the council inside out and has a well-evidenced track record of leading front-line services, driving efficiency, improvements, organisational development and managing people.

Starting off as a care assistant, Pat qualified as a social worker and moved on to lead key departments as head of older people services, assistant director for adults and then executive director of communities and wellbeing before taking up the role as interim chief executive for Bury Council.

She also has major responsibilities outside of the council, as national lead for dementia with ADASS (Association of Director for Adult Social Services), and lead chief executive for Resilience in Greater Manchester.

Pat’s route to the top has been anything but conventional.

She chose not to take O-levels, but set out to run her own business as a hairdresser, which she says put her in good stead for her time spent as a social worker.

As she climbed the town hall ladder, Pat took in on herself to gain two masters degrees.

Her latest challenge is to lead Bury Council through the next six months while the search starts for a permanent chief executive.

But one thing she is very clear about is that she is not simply a care-taker.

“Anyone who knows me knows I don’t sit still. Of course, it’s important for everyone in Bury to know that they are in a safe pair of hands and the ship is stable, but actually this ship is moving forward at a pace.

“There’s a huge amount of work to be done, across all of the council’s top priorities.

“Our core values, the desire to have good public services, are still the same; but the demands for services and the way they will be delivered have changed. Councils will no longer provide a top down, one-size-fits-all service, but work in partnership with people at a local neighbourhood level, and as enablers.

“There are big challenges for us all, and our borough, such as the integration of health and social care, and the introduction of neighbourhood working, and all against a backdrop of continuing financial cutbacks.

“People are not bothered about who runs a service, as long as they receive appropriate services at the time they need them. Our aim is to ensure that services are more efficient and effective, so we all get more for the Bury pound.

“The council, its partners and, most importantly, the community of Bury — we are more than the sum of our parts and together we can make a difference.

“In line with Bury Council’s priorities, we will also focus on increasing the supply of affordable housing, attracting new business investment and jobs into Bury and improving people’s skills and training.

"I’m confident that we can rise to these challenges and shape and maintain a prosperous, sustainable Bury fit for the future.”

It has not been an easy road for Pat, who has juggled her career alongside being wife, mum to two children and nana to three.

Her top tip? “Be true to yourself, do an honest day’s work where you can walk away knowing you have given it your all.”