The veteran public servant, Andrew Balchin, Chief Executive of Wakefield Council, has revealed his plans to retire, bringing a distinguished 36-year career in local government to a close.

Assuming the role of Chief Executive in December 2020, Mr Balchin had previously served as Interim Chief Executive, expertly guiding the Council and its partners through the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic during his interim tenure.

Andrew Balchin first joined Wakefield in 2009, where he ascended to the position of Corporate Director, overseeing various services across the Council. He earned admiration from colleagues both locally and regionally for his unwavering commitment to public service, robust personal values, and fervent advocacy for equality and fairness.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council said; “It has been an incredible pleasure to work alongside Andrew, especially as we navigated the unprecedented challenge of a global pandemic. Andrew’s leadership of the organisation during Covid was exemplary. It’s enabled the organisation to recover and continue to support our most vulnerable residents and communities through tough times, including through the cost of living crisis we’re now facing.

“Andrew leaves the Council in a strong position for the future, with good financial management and strong governance. I’d like to thank him for his excellent contribution to Wakefield, and local government, and wish him a long and happy retirement.”

Andrew Balchin, Chief Executive said; “I am very proud to have been part of the Wakefield district for the last 14 years. I’ve had the privilege of working with some very talented colleagues, members and partners, all driven by the determination to make a positive difference to the lives of our residents.

“After 36 years in local government, I feel now is the right time for me to step away and spend time with my family. I leave knowing the Council is stable, provides good quality services and has a strong team of officers and elected members.

“Wakefield is ready to meet the challenges that will continue to face all public services. And I wish them every success in the future as the Council continues to achieve the very best for residents.”

Andrew Balchin will continue to serve as Chief Executive until the end of March 2024. The recruitment process for his successor will commence shortly, with a new Chief Executive expected to be appointed in Spring 2024.