LANCASHIRE County Council has appointed Jo Turton as its chief executive.

She has held the job on an interim basis since last August since her predecessor Phil Halsall was suspended and then left county hall in October.

In January, the authority, which provides services to Burnley, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Pendle, Chorley and Rossendale, started the process of recruiting a permanent appointee.

Ms Turton was appointed the county’s environment head, responsible for service areas including roads, transport and waste, in February 2009.

Lancashire’s leader Jenny Mein, said: "It is testament to Jo's considerable knowledge and experience that she has got the job on a permanent basis.

"She brings more than 25 years' relevant experience to the role and has already established a strong track record at the county council since arriving here.”

Ms Turton, who previously worked for Shropshire County Council and the Audit Commission, said: “I'm extremely proud to have been appointed.

“The council faces an extremely challenging time for the foreseeable future.”