CAMBRIDGESHIRE Horizons’ chief executive, Alex Plant, is to be Cambridgeshire County the Council’s new executive director: environment services, with responsibility for the authority’s work on transport, economic and housing growth and the environment.

Selected by a cross-party appointments committee, he will take over from acting executive director John Onslow, who has led the work of the directorate for the last year after himself returning to the council from Horizons.

Mr Plant said today: “Growing Cambridgeshire's economy, developing a transport policy that supports the needs of people and businesses in our area, and preserving the quality of our environment will be at the heart of my new role.

“Despite the financial pressure on public services, the opportunity to help shape such fundamental issues is hugely exciting.

“Having led Cambridgeshire Horizons and worked particularly closely with the county council, and the district councils across Cambridgeshire, I hope I can move seamlessly into the role and work with all our partners to make a positive difference from day one.”

Council leader Jill Tuck said: “His knowledge of Cambridgeshire, of how the Government machine in Whitehall works, as well as his strong links with all those who are helping to shape the County's future will be a huge asset.”

A former Treasury civil servant, Mr Plant was deputy regional director at the Government Office for the East of England, where he had particular responsibility for development and infrastructure.

In addition to his Horizons role, Mr Plant is interim strategic director of the new Greater Cambridge - Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), a non-executive director on the board of NHS Cambridgeshire, and a governor at Cambridge Regional College.

He lives in Cambridge and is married with two young daughters.

Cambridgeshire Horizons, which will fall victim to the Government's quango-cull later this year, is the not-for-profit organisation responsible for driving forward the delivery of sustainable new communities within the county.