THE chief executive of New Forest District Council has announced his retirement.

Bob Jackson has told councillors and staff that he will leave the authority on August 13 after 44-year career in local government.

Mr Jackson has spent 13 years at NFDC, including six as chief executive.

The council leader, Cllr Edward Heron, said: "I am hugely grateful to Bob for all he has done.

"It is a challenging position in the world of local government, and never more so than during the past year.

"As chief executive he has calmly and astutely managed the authority through some high-level projects in his time with us, and his pragmatic approach will be missed by colleagues and councillors alike."

Mr Jackson started his career in local government in Woodspring District Council (now North Somerset) as a trainee accountant in 1977.

In 1991 he moved to Poole Borough Council as assistant treasurer and later became chief financial officer in the then newly created unitary authority.