The constabulary said the post had been vacant for two years, but a spokesman would not comment on the specific responsibilities or issues she will face in her new job.
Lancashire hit the headlines earlier this month as it became the first force to impose on-the-spot fines for disorder offences instead of cautions or court summons. Astle starts her new job on 1 March.
Halton has kicked off the hunt to replace Astle to lead its six-strong team, reporting to operational director Robert McKenzie. Her replacement will be expected to raise the profile of the borough – which includes the Cheshire towns of Runcorn and Widnes – locally, regionally and nationally using internal and external communications, PR, marketing, branding and promotion.