Laura Langstaff – our congratulations as she takes on top role for Surrey & East Sussex Councils

We were delighted to hear today that Laura Langstaff has been appointed as Head of Procurement for both Surrey County Council and East Sussex County Council. The two councils have been collaborating for a while, and Langstaff was Andrew Forzani's deputy until recently when he left to join the Department of Work and Pensions. (He has been named recently as David Smith's successor as Commercial Director there of course).

Laura joined Surrey in 2010 after a spell at Ealing Council, having started her career in the private sector. I've been a big fan of hers since I was on the judging panel that named her CIPS Young Purchaser of the Year in 2006. Her air of quiet confidence and sound judgement came across so strongly for someone then still in her twenties, and everything I've seen and heard of her progress since then suggested that we made a good choice. (Having said that, David Lawson, who was our runner-up, hasn't done badly - the highly respected Procurement Director at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust).

The partnership between Surrey and East Sussex appears to be going well - a good example of collaboration driven by the parties wanting to do it, not by dictat. Anyway, our congratulations to Laura, and here is a brief video, recorded (not by me) in one of Surbiton's idyllic quiet tree-lined boulevards. In a gale.

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