Norfolk council chief executive sets retirement date

The chief executive of Broadland District Council has announced he will be leaving the authority at the end of September this year.

Colin Bland announced early last year that he planned to retire at the end of 2011, but the 60-year-old had a heart attack late last year and has requested a slightly earlier retirement date.

The request to retire early was agreed unanimously by councillors at a meeting of Broadland District Council.

The council has made plans to reorganise its management structure and to cut the number of senior posts and Mr Bland's retirement will allow that to happen sooner.

The council said Mr Bland will not receive any redundancy or severance payments and his early retirement will save at least �10,500.

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Mr Bland joined Broadland District Council in February 1997 as director of resources and was appointed as acting chief executive in February 2000 and permanently to the post in November 2000.

Mr Bland said 'I've been immensely proud to be chief executive of Broadland District Council. It has felt like Team Broadland, the members and officers of the council have been an extension of my family.

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'My proudest moments have been to see the Council recognised as the third best council to work for in 2008 and also to see the results of the government's place survey where residents said that Broadland was the third best place to live in the country.

'To have residents and staff saying the council is doing the right things were both gratifying. In September I'm sure that leaving the council will be difficult but I know I will be able to look back at my contribution and say to myself that I've played my part well in helping Team Broadland achieve its potential. I would like to thank the Staff and members for their support and hard work over the last decade.'

Council leader Simon Woodbridge said: 'I have worked with Colin for 10 years and I feel that we have journeyed together through many challenges.

'We have been an effective partnership setting the vision and values of the organisation and it has resulted in a culture at Broadland where elected members and officers work effectively as a team able to deliver good quality service to our residents. We are indebted to him for his many years of service and I wish him well for the future.'

James Joyce, Liberal Democrat Group Leader said: 'Colin has been an asset to Broadland and will be really missed and I wish him well for the future.'

A decision on Mr Bland's replacement has yet to be made.

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