North Ayrshire’s former council boss will now lead the country’s watchdog for local authority spending after joining last year.

Elma Murray OBE has been appointed the interim chair of the Accounts Commission, following the resignation of Graham Sharp from the role.

Ms Murray, who stepped down as NAC chief executive in 2018, said it was an “honour to be appointed” to chair the independent local government spending watchdog – which holds North Ayrshire Council and others across Scotland to account and tries to help them improve.

Scottish Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart appointed Ms Murray, the current deputy chair, to serve from August, ahead of the Scottish Government holding an appointments process for the post.

Ms Murray said: “I would like to pay tribute to Graham’s contribution to the Commission and to local government in Scotland. I have enjoyed working with Graham over the past year and I have learned a lot during my time on the Commission with him.

“It is an honour to be appointed as interim chair. I am looking forward to continuing to work with the commission, and with Audit Scotland and the Auditor General, to develop the role of public audit in Scotland.”

Elma left North Ayrshire Council in 2018 after a career in local government spanning around 35 years.

She served as NAC chief executive from 2009 to 2018, before she officially gave up her duties on Hallowe’en 2018, with former Executive Director for Place Craig Hatton taking the reins the next day.

And a special formal event was held for her in Irvine’s Townhouse, after Ms Murray’s retirement was announced in August.


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