THE chief executive of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has announced that he is to step down after seven years at the helm.

Tony Curtis, who joined the borough council 16 years ago and has clocked up a 40-year career in local Government, this week informed councillors and staff at the authority of his decision to stand down from the top job on November 30.

The father-of-three said: “This is an exciting time for the borough. We have made a lot of progress towards setting the direction for an even better future for our residents.

“I am immensely proud of the fantastic officer team I have worked with at the council and their commitment to going the extra mile for the people we serve.

“As I’m marking 40 years of local Government service this month, I felt this was a natural time, with many projects now in place, to let someone else take the reins to help make the borough an even better “place to be proud of”.

“I feel this is time for me to use my experience in different ways. I will now be looking for a new role which will allow me more time to spend with my family.”

Mr Curtis, who is 61, first started his career as a planning officer at Brent Council, in London following his graduation from Birmingham University.

He then went on to work for Watford Borough Council and Horsham District Council as their chief planning officer before joining Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in 1998.

He has enjoyed a variety of roles at the borough council, including the director of planning and transport and five years as the deputy chief executive before he was promoted to his current role in 2007.

During his time leading over 500 members of staff, who serve 170,000 residents in the borough, the local authority has been rated as the 15th best district in the country for value for money, fifth best for customer satisfaction and the most financially resilient of all councils.

With a £250million commercial property portfolio and a £150million investment portfolio, Mr Curtis has had the responsibility of balancing running a “business” with a turnover of £140million and providing high-quality services to people and companies in the borough.

Other successes during his time at the helm include driving the creation of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, and the regeneration of Basing View which has attracted a new John Lewis at Home and Waitrose store and a headquarters for Network Rail.

The process of finding a successor to Mr Curtis will take place over the coming months.