Top Bradford councillors hail Tony Reeves's legacy as chief executive steps down (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Councillors hail Tony Reeves's legacy - but some have concerns about timing of chief executive's Bradford Council departure
Updated 10:33am Wednesday 16th July 2014 in News
TONY Reeves is resigning as chief executive at Bradford Council after eight years in the post.
He is to quit his City Hall role to become a partner in professional services network Deloitte's public sector advisory practice from January next year.
Announcing his resignation, Mr Reeves said: "My eight years of working in Bradford have been stimulating, challenging and extremely enjoyable.
“Working for Bradford Council isn’t about individual people however, it’s about this great and very special place and all the people who live and work here."
Mr Reeves said he would continue to work hard during his six-month notice period and that once he was gone, the Council and its partners would make sure the district's regeneration "continues at pace".
He said: "The hard work and increasing confidence of businesses, local people and organisations in Bradford is shaping a shared, bright future, making our city and district a better place for everyone - now and for generations to come.”
Council leader, Councillor David Green (Lab), said Mr Reeves' legacy to Bradford was plain to see.
He said: "When you walk around the city, looking at City Park, Westfield, at the work that has started at Canal Road, at the work we have done to bring health and social care together through the Health and Wellbeing Board, education - some of the fruits of his labour are there for all to see."
Conservative leader, Councillor Glen Miller, said: "I wish Tony well in the future with his appointment to Deloitte's and I'm sure he will continue to raise the profile of this excellent district."
And the Liberal Democrat leader, Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, said Mr Reeves' achievements included using Government money creatively to boost Bradford's regeneration and getting a "financial grip" on the authority.
But she was concerned by the timing of Mr Reeves' departure.
She said: "I understand Tony feels he's ready for another challenge, and he's been made an offer by Deloitte's that he feels is too good to be true.
"My concern is that it feels a little premature, because he did give a ten-year commitment."
But Cllr Green said: "I'm not aware that Tony Reeves ever made a ten-year commitment to Bradford, or that Bradford ever made a ten-year commitment to Tony Reeves.
"I think that's petty and nit-picking."
Meanwhile Respect MP for Bradford West George Galloway said Mr Reeves should leave immediately and not work his notice due to a possible conflict of interest with his new role.
Mr Galloway said: "My views on Tony Reeves and his abilities are well known so I can't pretend I am sorry he has resigned. But what he cannot be allowed to do is to work for the council through until January. He has to clear his desk today. He is going to work for an organisation, Deloitte, which is the very antithesis of public service and which is a by-word for cost-cutting, job-slashing and privatisations.
"With his intimate knowledge of the council, and his contacts with other councils and officials, it would be unnatural while seeing out his time if he didn't ponder just what benefits to his next employer he could bring from that knowledge. To be fair to him there cannot be any suggestion of insider dealing so it is best that he goes now."