CROYDON Council chief executive Jon Rouse has resigned. Mr Rouse, 44, is joining the Department of Health as Director General of Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships. In a statement issued by the council, the Queens Park Rangers fan said he had found the decision to leave 'tremendously difficult', and said he would always have 'great affection' for Croydon and its residents. A Croydon Council spokesman said an announcement would be made 'shortly' on the interim arrangements for Mr Rouse's position. Mr Rouse will have responsibility for adult social care, the department's links with local government, mental health, health inequalities and health services for children. Mr Rouse, who lives in Wandsworth with his wife and two daughters, became Croydon Council's sixth chief executive when he joined the authority in July 2007. He was brought up in Yorkshire and Kettering, and has a first degree in law from Manchester and masters degrees in urban policy and business administration. Mr Rouse has previously worked as chief executive at the Housing Corporation and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and has held non-executive positions with English Partnerships and Homelessness International. He was appointed to the board at the Department of Health in 2009, where he served on the audit committee. "Over the last five and a half years I have been very privileged to serve alongside some very talented and committed colleagues, elected members and residents, who have dedicated themselves to transforming the borough," said Mr Rouse, in a statement issued by the council. "I have been inspired by their creativity and compassion in addressing some of the challenges we have faced. "From a personal perspective, while I am looking forward to taking on this new challenge, the decision to move on has been tremendously difficult. "I will be extremely sad to leave but will always have a great affection for Croydon and its residents. "There are many exciting things happening in Croydon over the coming years and I have full confidence that the management of the authority is in good hands." Cllr Mike Fisher, leader of the council, paid tribute to Mr Rouse. "I am very pleased for Jon, who will make an excellent Director General at the Department of Health," he said. "Jon has been an outstanding servant of Croydon and during his tenure I have admired his first-rate leadership qualities and his passion for serving the public. "I'd like to thank him for the huge contribution he has made over the last five and half years. "He has helped transform the council into one of the best performing and most efficient local authorities in the country, our schools are now achieving above the national average and standards continue to rise, and we have just embarked on the largest swathe of regeneration projects since the 1960s which will transform our town and serve Croydon well for generations to come. "We will miss him hugely, and wish him well for the future."
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