Management Team

Information about our management team including the Chief Executive and four Strategic Directors.

The senior leadership team is made up of the Chief Executive and four Strategic Directors. Each Director has responsibility for a different area of the Council's function. Like all the staff, each Director works for both South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils.

Andy Bates

Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service

The Chief Executive is the principal advisor to both Councils, supporting elected councillors to set clear policies and strategies to meet the needs of our residents and communities, and helping to ensure the Council fulfils its statutory responsibilities. Andy has overall responsibility for ensuring there are plans, systems, and processes for implementing those policies and that the Council manages its resources efficiently and effectively to do so.

In his role as head of paid service, Andy has overall responsibility for all employees and for how the Council is organised and managed, ensuring we have the skills, knowledge and capacity needed to deliver our work. A current focus is on making sure we lead, manage, support and develop all our people to meet their full potential and make South Hams and West Devon a great place to work.

Andy puts a strong focus on customer service, striving for improvement in the quality of the services we deliver and in working in a collaborative way with key partners, including neighbouring councils and others across Devon to ensure we continue to learn and innovate in what we do.

Andy is also the designated Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer for the South Hams.

Andy joined us in June 2020 from the Local Government Association (LGA), where he was the regional lead for the South West having previously held national roles for LGA.

Andy has spent 40 years working in, with and for local government having started as gardener and groundsman working for Kettering Borough Council during summer holidays in 1982.

Steve Mullineaux

Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Customer Service Delivery

As the lead on service delivery, Steve has direct responsibility for waste, recycling, community services, council tax business rates and housing benefit, IT solutions, security and for improving the customer experience for all services, ensuring they operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Steve has oversight of ensuring that both authorities enable their communities to help themselves, their residents, and each other. He leads both council’s response to the current cost of living crisis and he and his team work directly with all the key partners (government and voluntary sectors) to ensure that the council’s provide as much direct financial support and advice as they can to support residents.

Steve is the lead officer supporting the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and is the Senior Leadership Team's champion for equality and diversity. Steve is designated Electoral Returning Officer for West Devon and is also the designated Returning Officer for the central Devon parliamentary constituency.

Previously Steve has worked for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and in the private sector with BT. He joined South Hams and West Devon councils in 2015.

Lisa Buckle

Director of Strategic Finance (S151 Officer)

The focus of Lisa's role is to implement the council's financial strategy and ensure a sustainable financial future for both councils. She is responsible for developing and reviewing the Council's Medium Term Financial Strategy.

Lisa also oversees the budget setting process. She ensures that both council's regeneration and investment activities are properly assessed and monitored.

In accordance with the Local Government Act 1972, she acts as the Section 151 Officer for both councils - a suitably qualified person responsible for the proper administration of its affairs.

Lisa has worked for West Devon Borough Council since 1999 and became Head of Finance and Audit for both authorities in 2011, before becoming Director of Strategic Finance in 2018.

Chris Brook

Director of Place and Enterprise

Chris' role focuses on delivery for our communities, including housing, economy and commercial strategies, and he engages with key partners across local and national government and the private sector to achieve it.

His role supports the provision of much-needed affordable homes across both South Hams and West Devon, delivery of a number of significant placemaking projects and the Council’s economic development programme.

He has a track record of success in drawing in external funding to support place-making initiatives and was delighted to be recognised alongside his teammates at the MJ Local Government Awards 2023, as Senior Leadership Team of the Year.

Chris joined South Hams and West Devon Councils in 2012.

Drew Powell

Director of Strategy and Governance

Drew’s role covers a diverse range of functions including service delivery and implementing the Councils’ strategic, performance management and governance frameworks.

With a background in Environmental Science and engineering, Drew leads on the Council’s commitment to tackling climate change and is also responsible for the Development Management and Planning Enforcement services.

The success of both councils depends on effective decision-making and sound governance. A key element of Drew's role is to make sure that processes and procedures are carried out ethically and lawfully.

Drew is also the nominated Data Protection Officer as required by the General Data Protection Regulation. He has overall responsibility for ensuring that both councils comply with regulations for health and safety, procurement, information governance, Data Protection and Freedom of Information. Drew also oversees the council's risk and opportunities register, emergency planning, business continuity and the Elections function for both councils.

Drew previously worked for North Warwickshire Borough Council and as a consultant for the Overseas Development Agency on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic.