Des Murray carved out a career in local government after starting a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) as a school leaver, working his way through the ranks at Strathclyde Region and South Lanarkshire Council before joining one of Scotland’s largest local authorities, North Lanarkshire Council, in 2011 as a senior officer in housing.
With the council being Scotland’s largest local authority landlord and as Head of Housing Property, he was responsible for a portfolio of 36,500 properties with a combined capital and revenue budget in excess of £100million per year.
After a period as Assistance Chief Executive of Enterprise and Housing Resources, he was named Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Council in June 2018.
As a ‘local Airdrie boy’ himself, Des has been well aware of the challenges facing the council including high levels of deprivation, child poverty and inequalities. His shared vision for the region was to re-think how communities use towns and services and to respond to major social, economic and technological change.
The Plan for North Lanarkshire was given the green light by the council’s key partners in 2019 and will transform the region’s town centres into vibrant mixed-use places where people want to live, fuelled by one of the most ambitious housebuilding programmes in the country, while rolling out a world-class digital infrastructure that will connect communities and help businesses and workforces adapt to changing technologies, sustainability and market demands.
Cited as one of Scotland’s fastest growing economies before the health pandemic, around £3.5bn public investment will be made over the next ten years to help create over 12,000 new jobs, and generate close to £1bn for the local economy. The innovative, 20-year £5.7 billion Enterprise Strategic Commercial Partnership Project, one of the largest contracts of its type in the UK, will drive forward the Plan for North Lanarkshire and will see the council working with the private sector to deliver a full range of inter-connected property, community asset and infrastructure investment.
He’s leading a very exciting time for the local authority with the plan well underway to drive economic regeneration and growth that will benefit everyone in North Lanarkshire.