Kirklees Council’s chief executive Adrian Lythgo is to give up his position after more than six years in the role.
Tributes have been paid to him with former council leader Mehboob Khan who worked with him for five years saying he was respected at both regional and national level.
“However, there have been challenges I have wanted to see through, including our major transformation programme, our budget challenges and our senior management restructure.
“Earlier this year we had a period without political leadership which I also wanted to see through.
“And I did not want to leave before the Local Plan was ready to move forward, before we had moved to a commissioning culture or before we had the stability of a four year budget in place.”
“Kirklees is the only council I would want to have this role in. It is a great place to live and work and while there are still significant challenges ahead I feel we are in the best place we can be to deal with those.”
He is not leaving for another role.
The post will be offered to current deputy Jacqui Gedman on an acting basis for a 12 month period from Adrian’s departure.
Council Leader Clr David Sheard said: “I want to put my sincere thanks to Adrian on record for the work he has done in leading the organisation through an incredibly challenging period.
“His calm and thorough approach and strong guidance has been vital as we face the most difficult period local government has known. I am delighted though that Jacqui has agreed to step up which is vital for the success and the continuity of the changes we are making.”
Deputy Leader Clr Shabir Pandor said: “The last 12 months have been challenging. For me, Adrian has shown excellent leadership when there have been threats to our reputation from outside, whether that is with visiting political marches or in the aftermath of the tragic death of Jo Cox. When we needed that support, he saw that it was provided.”
Conservative Leader Clr David Hall added: “Adrian has brought a strategic view to Kirklees and has also played a key role in the development of the Combined Authority, ensuring Kirklees’s voice is heard at that table. We owe him an awful lot for the work he has put in on behalf of Kirklees.”
Liberal Democrat leader Clr Nicola Turner said: “My group is very grateful to Adrian. He has seen the council through some very difficult financial times. We are very pleased that Jacqui has stepped up to ensure some stability and continuity through the challenges ahead over the next few months.”