Doncaster Council chief named more powerful than three Government ministers and Mayor of London

Doncaster Council chief executive Jo Miller.
Doncaster Council chief executive Jo Miller.

A Doncaster Council chief has been named more powerful than three Government ministers and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Jo Miller, the council's chief executive, was named the third most influential person working in local government in Britain - ahead of Cabinet ministers Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Greg Clark and London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

She also finished in front of former Labour Government minister Andy Burnham, now mayor of Greater Manchester and Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman.

The power list, drawn up by the Local Government Chronicle, described Ms Miller has having "passion" being "outspoken" and "controversial" and that she has helped drag Doncaster "up from the depths of despair."

London mayor Sadiq Khan was listed 18th, health secretary Jeremy Hunt was 15th, business secretary Greg Clark was 12th and housing and communities secretary Sajid Javid claimed fifth spot.

Her citation said: "Jo Miller wears her heart on her sleeve and exudes passion. She has spoken out frequently about equality – between the sexes, people of different ethnic heritages and people of different economic fortunes.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

"So, when there was a dearth of female speakers at a Northern Powerhouse conference last year, perhaps it was inevitable she would lead the condemnation and set up her own People’s Powerhouse promoting “a north that works for everyone”. Similarly, she has been outspoken about the government’s universal credit reforms and urged change."

The rundown also tipped her for taking on the top job at Liverpool City Council in the future and also suggested her controversial nature had ruled her out of the top job at Birmingham City Council.

It added: "Ms Miller can be controversial. She was allegedly accused of being a “disgrace” by Sheffield City Council leader Julie Dore for her role in Doncaster ending its support for a Sheffield City Region mayor.

"Should Ms Miller be a significant figure in the drive for the rival pan-county One Yorkshire deal, that will put her on a collision course with sceptical ministers.

"Perhaps such controversy counted against her when she unsuccessfully applied for the top job at Birmingham City Council. Nonetheless Ms Miller will be in the frame should another major job become vacant – that at Liverpool City Council, whose incumbent is suspended, springs to mind.

"This could end her enduringly successful partnership with mayor Ros Jones which has dragged Doncaster up from the depths of despair to something to be proud of.

The LGC said that Ms Miller's role as president of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers until October would give her even greater influence

The LGC100 list identifies the most influential people whose work will shape local government in 2018.

The list includes officers, members, national politicians, civil servants and thinkers and was compiled using nominations from the public, the LGC editorial team and a panel of judges.