Paula Hewitt

Paula Hewitt chairs the South West Infrastructure Partnership and was the Deputy Chief Executive, Lead Director for Economic and Community Infrastructure and also the Director of Commissioning at Somerset County Council. 

She had a diverse mix of responsibilities including economic development, highways and transport, waste, planning, property, environment, registration services and libraries. Paula was acting CEO at Somerset County Council in 2022.

Paula has led a number of high-profile programmes, delivering innovation and partnerships. Paula’s achievements include leading the County Council’s work in relation to accommodating and securing a legacy from the largest construction project in Western Europe, the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

Other notable achievements include securing significant Government and private sector investment in regeneration, environmental and transport schemes and the development of a network of innovation and enterprise centres to deliver increased productivity and prosperity.

Paula was heavily involved in co-ordinating the Local Authority response to the devastating Somerset winter 2014/15 floods and led the work to minimise future flooding in the county through the establishment of the Somerset Rivers Authority.

As a result, she was asked to be an expert advisor to the European Committee of the Regions on disaster resilience.

Paula co-led the work on service alignment and improvement as the 5 councils in Somerset transitioned to a single council. Paula is the current chair of the South West Infrastructure Partnership and the immediate Past President of ADEPT.

Organisation: South West Infrastructure Partnership