A CHIEF executive of a council has announced his retirement.

Dave Stubbs, born and educated in Hartlepool, has worked for Hartlepool Borough Council for almost 44 years and been chief executive since October 2012.

The 66-year-old, who joined the council as a work study officer in 1971, said: "I’ve been very fortunate to have a long and very enjoyable career working for the council in my home town.

“I will look back on my time with many fond memories and I know for sure I am going to miss working for the council immensely. At the same time I am looking forward to spending more time with my family.

“Despite the on-going financial pressures, I do think I am leaving the council at a time when it is in good shape.”

Cllr Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Council, said: “Dave Stubbs has been a very strong, loyal and committed chief executive who has helped to drive the council forward despite the extremely tough financial climate."

Mr Stubbs is a keen sportsman who still plays 5-a-side football once a week and has not missed a day at work through illness since he started almost 44 years ago.

Positive news for the the town recently has included the progress on a plan to regenerated swathes of the borough, including the marina, the fact that £5m has been allocated by the Government to create an 'innovation and skills quarter' in Church Street and the fact that the National Museum for the Royal Navy is in advanced talks about creating a new museum in the marina.

The process to appoint a successor will begin over the coming weeks.