After a long and distinguished career in local government, Ann Windiate is retiring from the council at the end of March 2008. Ann, who is currently the Director of Community Services, has been with Medway Council since July 1999, and during that time has made a significant contribution to improving many of the council's services. Foremost among her successes have been: achieving Beacon status for the Adoption Service in 2002, obtaining the maximum star rating for adult social services last year and working with the Health Service and the voluntary sector to lead the transformation and improvement of services for older people and those with learning disabilities and mental health problems. More recently Ann took on responsibility for a wider range of council services, including leading on the Olympic initiative and the renovation of the Black Lion leisure centre, for which millions of pounds of external funding has been secured. Ann has also enjoyed a significant profile nationally, having been a senior member of the Association of Directors of Social Services for a number of years. Chief Executive, Neil Davies stated: "Ann's great expertise and experience will be hugely missed. In her time at Medway she has achieved a great deal, enabling her services and the organisation to achieve a number of accolades. Her considerable knowledge and commitment has helped us transform many of our services". Rodney Chambers, Leader of the council also praised Ann's contribution. “Ann has offered outstanding leadership,” said Cllr Chambers. “Her passion to support vulnerable members of our community, particularly the elderly, has been at the forefront of her success. During her service with us she has been a most dedicated and professional officer, and a great ambassador for Medway. As Leader of the council I have personally benefited from Ann’s sound advice based on her expert knowledge and many years of valuable experience." After 36 years of service in the public sector, Ann plans to enjoy her retirement with more time for travel and her passions of good food, cricket and golf. She will continue with her charitable work for mentally disordered offenders and dementia sufferers. Ms Windiate's departure will provide the opportunity to review the senior management structure, covering the roles and responsibilities of the existing Directors and Assistant Directors. Options for an alternative senior management structure will be discussed as part of the council's budget setting exercise that concludes at the end of February.