WAKEFIELD Council has chosen Tony Reeves as the preferred candidate to take over as its new permanent chief executive.

Mr Reeves, a former chief executive of local authorities in Bradford and Liverpool, looks set to be appointed as the district’s most senior officer at a meeting next month.

Current chief executive Andrew Balchin retires on March 31 after three years in charge.

Mr Reeves takes over as interim chief executive on April 1.

Councillors have been asked to approve his permanent appointment when they meet on April 16.

Mr Reeves was previously a deputy chief executive of Wakefield Council between 2003 and 2006.

In mid 2014, Mr Reeves announced he was resigning as chief executive at Bradford Council after eight years in the post.

The T&A reported that he was to quit his City Hall role to become a partner in professional services network Deloitte's public sector advisory practice.

Announcing his resignation from Bradford Council, 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."

He has also served as interim chief executive at Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council

Commenting on the announcement, he said: “I’m very pleased to be returning to Wakefield and to be taking up such a fantastic role.

“It was just too good an opportunity to miss.

“There is so much happening right across Wakefield district. 

“I’m delighted to be joining a talented and high-performing team.

“I’m looking forward to getting started and delivering for residents right across our area.”

Short-listed candidates for the position were interviewed by an appointments panel on April 21.

Council leader Denise Jeffery said: “Tony not only has a wealth of strong local government knowledge, but he also has extensive experience across our region and our district.

“With his strong leadership skills and passion for our area, Tony shares in our ambitions and I know he will hit the ground running.”