Senior officers

Find out about the council employees who implement decisions and run services

Nicole Wood

Corporate Services

Salary: £169,104

Nicole joined Essex County Council in 2008 after working at Hackney, the Audit Commission and Oldham. She is currently the Executive Director for Corporate Services.

Responsible for:

  • procurement services
  • finance (including income and payments)
  • Essex Pension Fund
  • technology services
  • SELEP accountable body
  • transformation delivery and support
  • service transformation

Within and prior to Essex County Council, she has held many varied roles outside of corporate services, including leading various major infrastructure programmes (schools building programme, office consolidation and rebuild programme) as Assistant Director of Children’s Services and a commissioner for education services.

Within Essex, Nicole has held various Finance leadership positions supporting front line services, including Children and Families and Place services before moving to corporate finance roles. Through her role within corporate services, Nicole has lead numerous organisation redesigns of support services and managed services ranging from Business Intelligence, Insurance, Risk and Commercial. Nicole became the statutory Chief Financial Officer (S151) in 2019 having been Deputy for a number of years. She also holds the position of S151 of the South East Local Economic Partnership (SELEP) and the Essex Pension Fund.

The Section 151 Officer has responsibility for the proper administration of the council's financial affairs.

The Section 151 Officer is a statutory appointment under Section 151 of the local government Act 1972, which requires every local authority to make arrangements for the proper administration of their financial affairs, and to ensure that one of their officers has responsibility for those affairs.

Also known as the Chief Finance Officer, the Section 151 Officer also has a number of statutory duties, including the duty to report any unlawful financial activity involving the authority (past, present or proposed) or failure to set or keep to a balanced budget. The role also has statutory powers, such as the right to insist that the local authority makes sufficient financial provision for the cost of an internal audit function.

It is important that members and officers work together to promote the corporate health of the council. The Section 151 Officer plays a key role in this and it's vital that Members and Officers work with the Section 151 Officer (and their staff) to enable them to discharge their statutory responsibilities and other duties.​

The council's Section 151 Officer is the Executive Director, Corporate Services. The functions are set out within the Constitution.

Within corporate support services, Nicole has a passion for professional excellence and reputation of support – promoting new talent through apprenticeships, interns and graduates. Most recently she has been focusing on development of business partner skills and working with CIPFA (the public sector accounting body) on developing an approach for Finance, which will be extended to other support in the function. She also represents on various regional and national working groups in her capacity as an Essex finance leader, and is an enthusiastic Local Government Association peer reviewer, seeking out learning from other authorities.



Declaration of interests

Read a full breakdown of our senior officers' declarations of interest.

Gifts and hospitality


Mileage and expenses

Mileage and expenses 2021 to 2022 (XLS, 11.75KB)

Mileage and expenses 2020 to 2021 (XLS, 58.88KB)

Mileage and expenses 2019 to 2020 (XLS, 181KB)