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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Rear Admiral lands new role
Rear Admiral Mark Kerr
Rear Admiral Kerr is set to become a land lover
A serving senior naval officer with more than 37 years' service has been appointed Powys County Council's new chief executive.

Rear Admiral Mark Kerr, 55, is currently naval secretary and director general of human resources with the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.

Mr Kerr joined the forces aged 18 and he has spent more than half of his career at sea.

However, a councillor has questioned the wisdom of his appointment, as he has no previous local government experience.

I am delighted to welcome Mr Kerr on board and wish him every success as our chief executive
A spokesman for Powys County Council

"I am surprised Rear Admiral Kerr has been selected as the new chief executive," said county councillor for Ystradgynlais, Betty Rae Watkins, who retires at next month's election.

"To be fair, he identified that he didn't have any local government experience, but he also identified that he was a quick learner and I'm sure everybody will work closely with him.

The majority has spoken and that's it."

During his service Mr Kerr has been in command of four naval vessels, a 72ft patrol boat in Northern Ireland, a minesweeper patrolling waters round Hong Kong and two frigates operating in the south Atlantic and the Adriatic.

He is no stranger to Powys, he has owns a house in Llangorse, near Brecon, and lived there for nine years before his career moved him onwards. His children also attended the Convent School in Brecon.

Commenting on his appointment Mr Kerr said: "I am really pleased to be coming back to Powys, but I am even more delighted to be coming back to such a wonderful job, where I hope I can make a real difference for the better in the lives of Powys people."

A spokesman for Powys County Council said: "I am delighted to welcome Mr Kerr on board and wish him every success as our chief executive."

Mr Kerr succeeds Jacky Tonge who retired from the council last year on health grounds. He will take up his appointment in September.

Married to Louisa, they have three children - Eleanor, Harry and Bertie,

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