Not quite yet but he will very shortly. I am referring of course to Rob Tinlin, Chief Executive of and Town Clerk to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. According to one report, dated December 2016:
“SOUTHEND Council’s chief executive has announced he is to retire next year. Rob Tinlin, who will step down in March took up his post in Southend in March 2005, and has led a distinguished career in local government spanning 40 years. He has overseen a major transformation of the council which has included being named LGC Council of the Year in 2012, and winning Senior Leadership Team of the Year at the MJ Achievement Awards earlier this year. In his resignation letter, Mr Tinlin said: “With almost 40 years of council service under my belt and with my twelfth anniversary of appointment as Southend’s Chief Executive approaching, I feel the time is right to hand over the reins to fresh leadership. “It has been an absolute privilege to serve as the borough’s ninth town clerk, and to serve for almost a tenth of the life of the borough council. I have had the honour to work alongside some really talented colleagues and to help them deliver some excellent service and improvements for the town. “I hope that I leave the town and council in a better position than I inherited. I do know that I will leave the council in capable hands. Mr Tinlin thanked his collegues for the “wealth of support and trust that I have received”. John Lamb, leader of the council, said: “Rob has been nothing less than an outstanding chief executive and we will all be very sorry to see him go. “However there is no doubt that despite the constant challenges we face as an authority, he leaves the council in a strong place, and in very capable hands. “Rob has been everything you want from a chief executive. He is strong, focused, resilient, charismatic, and personable and it is these characteristics that have ensured that the council and the borough have thrived in recent years. “He has developed a strong team behind him who have delivered so many fantastic things for this town, which have been recognised through a variety of local, regional and national awards. We wish him a very long and happy retirement.”
I have met Rob on a number of occasions, linked usually to my community activist interests, and we have had a few exchanges. While on some of these there has been a degree of contention, I have always found him to be sensible, affable, fair minded, straight forward, good humoured and conscientious, and a person I could deal with, who has the best interest of my town at heart, and usually it has ended up with there being acceptable resolutions. I recall our first meeting, shortly after him coming into post, when he undertook a whistle stop tour of the borough, including my project at the time: “Growing Together”. Given he wanted to know what was going on and give his new role his best shot did leave a lasting impression.
While there will no doubt be decisions he has made over the years one may disagree with, based on the little knowledge I have, I reckon overall he has done a good job. For much of the time he has had to come to terms with austerity cuts, making his tenure that more challenging, where tough decisions had to be made. If any can lay claim to guiding the ship through choppy waters, it is he. While I have over the years criticized the Council for good cause, I think on the whole it does a good job and this is to a significant extent due to Rob’s leadership. He has served the town well and I too wish him “a very long and happy retirement”. I would like to add, Rob is standing down from what could be deemed as a dream job, which has so much variety and where one can make a real difference, but far from easy and very few could have done it better than Rob!