Joan Jones, former Association of County Councils (ACC), Association of Metropolitan Authorities (AMA) and Local Government Association (LGA) stalwart, died of cancer on 3 December, after a short illness.
She started her career training as a teacher, then worked in Gloucestershire Education Department before joining the ACC in Eaton Square. She moved to the AMA where she was deputy Secretary, when the merger of ACC, ADC and AMA was mooted in the early nineties. When the shadow LGA was formed in 1996 she was the first full time appointment – joining me when I was newly appointed as chief executive.
Joan was an outstanding manager, friendly and effective, and enjoyed excellent relationships with staff and members alike. The early success of the LGA hinged to a significant extent on the part she played in helping to manage the different cultures, political and managerial, that came together in the merged organisation. Joan had a major role in the acquisition and refurbishment of Transport House as the home for the new LGA.
After her retirement from the LGA in 2002 she worked as a consultant, involved in recruitment search for local government and higher education. She was awarded a CBE for services to local government.
She and Wyn, her husband of 50 years, lived in Cheltenham. She kept in touch with former colleagues on a regular basis. Their sadness at her passing evoked expressions of universal respect and admiration. She was a wonderful person.
Sir Brian Briscoe was the first chief executive of the LGA