SOUTHEND Council's chief executive has announced he is to retire next year.

Rob Tinlin, who will step down in March took up his post in Southend in March 2005, and has led a distinguished career in local government spanning 40 years.

He has overseen a major transformation of the council which has included being named LGC Council of the Year in 2012, and winning Senior Leadership Team of the Year at the MJ Achievement Awards earlier this year.

In his resignation letter, Mr Tinlin said: “With almost 40 years of council service under my belt and with my twelfth anniversary of appointment as Southend’s Chief Executive approaching, I feel the time is right to hand over the reins to fresh leadership

“It has been an absolute privilege to serve as the borough’s ninth town clerk, and to serve for almost a tenth of the life of the borough council. I have had the honour to work alongside some really talented colleagues and to help them deliver some excellent service and improvements for the town.

"I hope that I leave the town and council in a better position than I inherited. I do know that I will leave the council in capable hands.

Mr Tinlin thanked his collegues for the "wealth of support and trust that I have received".

John Lamb, leader of the council, said: “Rob has been nothing less than an outstanding chief executive and we will all be very sorry to see him go.

“However there is no doubt that despite the constant challenges we face as an authority, he leaves the council in a strong place, and in very capable hands.

“Rob has been everything you want from a chief executive. He is strong, focused, resilient, charismatic, and personable and it is these characteristics that have ensured that the council and the borough have thrived in recent years.

"He has developed a strong team behind him who have delivered so many fantastic things for this town, which have been recognised through a variety of local, regional and national awards. We wish him a very long and happy retirement.”