PAT Flaherty is the new chief executive of Somerset County Council.

He has been acting CEO for six months and has worked in a rage of roles at County Hall.

Staff were informed of the appointment by council leader Cllr John Osman yesterday (Wednesday).

Mr Osman added: “Pat has impressed us all leading the council through the biggest disaster this council has faced with the major flooding, and taking a personal lead in achieving a balanced budget in the tightest of financial times over the past six months.

“I have always looked to promote talent from within wherever appropriate.”

Mr Flaherty said he was “excited and proud”, adding: “I am ambitious for our council, for our staff and for our residents. I want the best we can provide and I will work hard on behalf of everyone to achieve that.

“We have huge opportunities over the coming years and we need to aim high.”

Previous chief executive Sheila Wheeler resigned earlier this year after being off sick for several months.