This week Paul Walker, Director of Development Services at Fylde Council retires after 45 years in local government and 18 years at Fylde Council.
Paul said about his time at Fylde: “I feel proud having worked at Fylde Council and have particularly enjoyed working with many staff, members and partners who have been professional, enthusiastic, supportive and committed in working together to deliver a number of key projects to benefit residents and visitors to the borough.”
Paul began his career at West Lancashire District Council in 1976 as an Apprentice Gardener. Once he had completed his qualifications Paul moved up the ranks to Chargehand Gardener and then eventually Supervisor before moving to Preston Borough Council as Assistant Parks Manager in 1987.
Finishing his time at Preston Council as Parks Manager in 1989, Paul moved to South Ribble Council in 1991 to the same role, and in his time here his team achieved the National Open Space Award in 1995 for the much-loved Longton Brickcroft Nature reserve. Then Worden Park achieved the first Green Flag in the north of England when the scheme was introduced in 1997, when only 7 were awarded across the country.
In 2003 Paul moved to Fylde Borough Council as Economic Wellbeing Unit Business Manager and was appointed as Development Services Director in 2008.
Whilst at Fylde Paul has been involved in several significant projects including the reopening/commissioning of St Annes pool and gym, delivering the council’s rationalisation of accommodation which included refurbishment of the Town Hall and Civic Chamber, the coastal defence strategy and overseeing works for the Fairhaven to Church Scar sea defence scheme. Most recently he has been working with partners to secure funding and approvals for the M55 link road which has recently commenced.
The Leader of Fylde Council, Councillor Karen Buckley said:
“Paul was already a senior officer when I joined the council in 2007. I found him a fount of knowledge on all borough council matters and a safe pair of hands to get projects done even when, at times, they seemed out of reach. He has overseen the delivery of some of the largest schemes the council has ever embarked upon and the borough is the better for it, for example the completion of the award-winning sea defences scheme around Fairhaven Lake and Granny’s Bay.
“His tenacious approach also helped ensure that work on the long-awaited M55 Link Road finally commenced this year. An improved link road had been the borough’s aspiration for 25 years and Paul’s dogged determination was instrumental in getting that project finally off the ground. Managing developments from parks to coastal defences and everything in-between invites controversy from time to time with many opposing views to be considered. Paul’s professional advice stemming from years of experience has been confidently relied upon by members right across the council and he will be greatly missed. On behalf of all councillors, I wish him a long and happy retirement.”
Allan Oldfield, Chief Executive of Fylde Council added:
“Paul has made a major contribution over his 18 years at Fylde, leading significant change and world-class projects with such success that it has helped make Fylde one of the best performing authorities in the region. Without Paul’s in-depth knowledge, experience and superb attitude, this would not have been possible. He will be missed, but I wish him all the happiness in what I know will be a very long and healthy retirement.”
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