Manchester City Council chief executive to retire

Manchester City Council's chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein has announced that he will retire next year.

Central to the regeneration and economic growth of the city, Sir Howard has been in the role since 1998. In the position he oversaw Manchester become hosts of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, as well as the regeneration of East Manchester and the unparalleled investment in sport and leisure facilities focused around the Etihad Campus.

Bernstein was also instrumental in devolution for the City, with former Chancellor George Osborne paying tribute to him as the 'star of British local government'.

Sir Howard said: “It has been a privilege to serve the city during such a pivotal period, working with many excellent people both within the council and in public and private partner organisations. I’m incredibly proud of what the city has been able to achieve in this time and to have played a part in it.

“Manchester is firmly established as a confident and dynamic place, recognised as a premier league world city although of course there are still significant challenges to address to ensure everyone who live here has the opportunity to share in, and contribute to, its growing success."

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “He will be a hard act to follow but part of his legacy will be the quality of the team, the strength of relationships and the depth of organisational ambition his successor inherits.

“Our new chief executive will need to be someone with the strategic vision, innovative ideas, partnership working skills and gravitas to help lead Manchester forwards into an exciting new phase.”

A meeting of the Council’s Personnel Committee will be convened shortly to begin the process of recruiting the next chief executive.