Margaret re-joined Essex County Council in 1990 following five years’ maternity leave. She is currently the Executive Director for Corporate and Customer Services and has responsibility for:
- Finance and Procurement Services
- Legal and Assurance
- Essex Pension Fund
- Customer Services
- SELEP Accountable Body.
While the vast majority of her career has been at Essex County Council, she has held many varied roles during that time, including leading the implementation of a new General Ledger and related finance systems, was Head of Finance for Social Services before moving to corporate finance roles, becoming the statutory Chief Financial Officer (S151) in 2007, and an Executive Director in 2010. She also holds the position of S151 of the South East Local Economic Partnership (SELEP) and the Essex Pension Fund. Margaret is also the Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) for the Council
Margaret is a past President of the national Society of County Treasurers (SCT), is an SCT core advisor to the Local Government Association (LGA) and also sits on various national Local Government working groups, most recently the Steering Board for the Business Rates Reform work which is working with MHCLG and LGA to design the new model of business rates retention planned for 2020. She was a member of the LGA Finance Peer Review team who reviewed Northampton County Council in September 2017, and is now co-chairing a CIPFA Panel charged with drawing up a new code of Practice for Financial Management and Planning to improve financial resilience. She has recently worked again with CIPFA to draw up a paper on the role of the S151 for LEPS. This paper is currently out for consultation. More locally, she is a member of the Improvement East Finance Directors group and the Essex Finance Officers Association.
Over the past few years, her teams have enjoyed significant success through winning:
- Local Government Chronicle Award for Corporate Governance
- Municipal Journal award for Innovative Finance
- Local Government Chronicle Investment Awards for Pension Fund of the Year
- HSJ Patient Safety Awards, Best Improvement Team (procurement).