Borough council chief steps down for ‘personal reasons’

Richard Harbord ENGEMN00120130225190352
Richard Harbord ENGEMN00120130225190352

The chief executive of Boston Borough Council Richard Harbord has announced he is to resign from his post for ‘personal reasons’.

The move was announced during a closed-doors meeting of the leaders of the political parties called today (Tuesday) at 2pm.

In a statement released following the meeting Mr Harbord said he had ‘struggled with mounting family health issues for some time and feels no longer able to give Boston the support it needs’.

He said: “Unfortunately my family difficulties are becoming too great for me to be able to give Boston the support it needs over the coming months and so it is with great regret that I have tendered my resignation to the leader of the council.

“I shall be completing key pieces of work and attending for key meetings over coming months.

“I shall be very sorry to leave Boston but I am sure everyone will appreciate my difficult situation.”

Surrey-based Mr Harbord was employed as a short term troubleshooter at the council in 2009, however his £121,500-a-year 15-day-a-month contract was extended until 2015 in November 2012.

His instalment followed the commissioning of a voluntary improvement board to help the council improve.

Council leader Peter Bedford said: “This is a great loss to the council and comes at a difficult time as we approach an election.

“I am grateful to Mr Harbord for all he has done for the council over the last five years.”

Mr Harbord has held many senior posts in Local Government and professional bodies including the Institute of Revenues, Ratings & Valuations (IRRV) where he has been a member of the IRRV Council for 25 years and was President for the 2013/14 year.

Mr Harbord’s resignation takes immediate effect and he will not return to office after today.

Phil Drury, Deputy Chief Executive, will take charge of the authority for now.

A spokesman added: “Future arrangements for the role of chief executive will be decided in due course.”