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A message from Executive Director, Mike Ashworth 31 July 2020

31 July 2020

Settling down to write my final message for Our Derbyshire before I retire next week, I’ve been thinking about how much has changed since I joined the county council in 1990.


Back then, an email was virtually unheard of. Correspondence was by letter, fax, a typed memo or by phone – and I don’t mean mobile!

IT has moved on so rapidly and local people expect a lot more from their local council. There are a lot less staff employed now but we’ve become so efficient in communication, literally at the click of a button, and delivering more than ever. Who knew you would be able to report a pot hole or a road in need of gritting without uttering a word to anyone?

When I arrived at the county council as a Group Engineer in the Planning and Highways Department, I soon became involved in a number of town centre regeneration projects in Heanor, Ilkeston, Ripley, Glossop, Long Eaton and Swadlincote.

Over the years, I’ve been proud to lead major infrastructure projects such as Markham Vale and Ilkeston Station, overseen the construction of Matlock Relief Road and played a key role in delivering the Ilkeston-Awsworth by-pass as well as founding the Derbyshire Road Safety partnership and more recently the joint growth unit with Chesterfield Borough Council.

All of these schemes have made a big difference to the citizens of Derbyshire and as I leave the county council, I’m proud to say that we’re taking the lead on many more projects such as Ashbourne Airfield, Woodville/Swadlincote by pass, Chesterfield Staveley Regeneration Route, Ashbourne By pass and Chesterfield Town Centre HS2 masterplan, making a big difference to the recovery of the county’s economy.

It’s been a privilege to work for Derbyshire County Council over the last 30 years and I can honestly say irrespective of any personal achievements the most important thing for me has been the way in which all of you have done your utmost to deliver services often in the most difficult of circumstances. It’s hard to believe that in the period of exactly one year we have dealt with the Toddbrook reservoir emergency, two major flooding events and now Covid 19 – not to mention all of the fantastic ‘business as usual’ work that is taken for granted.  

With this in mind, I’m confident that the county council is in the best place possible to adapt to any changes that lie ahead and continue to deliver excellent services.  

I wish you all the very best for the future.