Council chief stepping down

Blackpool Council chief executive Steve Weaver
Blackpool Council chief executive Steve Weaver
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BLACKPOOL Council’s chief executive Steve Weaver is to step down from his £144,000-a-year role at the town hall.

The 61-year-old, who has been at the helm since his appointment by the then Labour ruling group in 2002, will leave the resort at the end of the year.

He has chosen to retire from the council, although he will explore future options outside the authority.

Mr Weaver said: “I have been in Blackpool for nearly 10 years now and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and am proud of the improvements I have helped to deliver.

“I wish the council leader Coun Simon Blackburn, and his new team the very best and know that they have Blackpool’s interests close at heart.

“I will always hold a very special affection for Blackpool and believe the town and its people have a great future.”

Mr Weaver, a father-of-three, joined the council in 2002, taking over from Graham Essex-Crosby who took early retirement.

A town planner by profession, he had previously been an executive director with Blackburn-with-Darwen Council, where he spent 27 years overseeing services including education, social services and leisure.

Following his move to Blackpool, his first two years saw the controversial closure of five of the town’s libraries.

But a major milestone was the launch of the £1bn masterplan which has since seen work almost completed on the £100m new Promenade and the £100m upgrade of the tramway.

Mr Weaver played a leading role in the bid for the supercasino licence which failed in 2007, but since that disappointment he has played a part in negotiations which saw the historic purchase of The Tower and Winter Gardens in a £40m deal signed in March 2010.

New council leader Coun Simon Blackburn, who led Labour to victory at this month’s local elections with a manifesto which included pledges to cut the bill for senior town hall management, said: “Steve has been an excellent chief executive who has served the people of Blackpool with integrity, enthusiasm and determination and always with the best interests of the town and people front of mind.

“I look forward to working with Steve over the next few months to embed the new administration and I wish him all the very best when he leaves us.”

Mr Weaver will not be taking any enhanced terms and conditions when he leaves.

The process to recruit his replacement is expected to start in the next few weeks.