Lord Morse steps down as Oflog Chair

Statement regarding the resignation of the Chair of the Office for Local Government

Lord Morse, the interim Chair of the Office for Local Government, has today announced that he will be stepping down from his role at the end of March, for unexpected health reasons.

Lord Morse was appointed as interim Chair in January 2023 and has provided independent advice, support and challenge in Oflog’s first phase.

Making the announcement, Lord Morse said:

“Local government makes a huge contribution to the lives of citizens across England.

I believe strongly that Oflog, as it continues to develop, will make a real difference to local government’s success in doing so.

I am proud of the model for Oflog that we have developed in close collaboration with the local government sector and set out recently in our draft Corporate Plan. It is a proportionate and nuanced approach that seeks to act with a light touch and through influence, avoiding some of the heavy-handed methods of previous eras.

I would have very much liked to continue as interim and perhaps permanent Chair of Oflog. It is with great regret that I must stop for unexpected health reasons.

I am grateful to the Secretary of State for the opportunity to perform this role, and for the freedom he has given the Chief Executive and me to shape Oflog as we saw fit.

I want to thank the Oflog team for their immense energy and sincere commitment to seeking to help the sector. Most of all, I want to pay tribute to the thousands of people in local government who do heroic work to provide invaluable services, often in difficult circumstances.”

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove said:

“I am immensely grateful to Lord Morse for his tremendous contribution to the establishment and development of Oflog. His counsel and leadership have been instrumental. I am very sorry that he is, with reluctance, stepping down.”

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will appoint a new interim Chair and publish details in due course.  

In the interim, the Secretary of State has instructed Josh Goodman, Chief Executive, to continue to act with a spirit of independence in line with Oflog’s formal remit letter. The Secretary of State’s letter to the Chief Executive is available here

From: Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP