Reeves started on an interim basis at the beginning of April. Credit: via Wakefield Council

Reeves takes the helm for Wakefield

Previously at Liverpool City Council, Tony Reeves has been formally confirmed as chief executive at a meeting of full council.

Reeves, who has been working in the job on an interim basis since the start of April, will take up the main post with immediate effect, and the roles of returning officer, electoral registration officer and Combined Authority local returning officer from 6 May 2024.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Tony as chief executive. 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, he shares in our ambitions and has already hit the ground running as our Interim chief executive.

“I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with Tony to make a positive difference to residents’ lives and create a better future for people in our district.”

Previous chief executive Andrew Balchin announced his decision to retire in January, following a 36-year career in local government, and four years running Wakefield.

Reeves said: “I’m very pleased to be returning to Wakefield and to be taking up such a fantastic role.

“There is so much happening right across Wakefield district, from all the cultural plans as part of Our Year 2024, the huge opportunities to drive forward regeneration, and the chance to build on the work of some great frontline services in improving our places and providing support to our communities.

“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.”

Reeves previously served as Wakefield’s deputy chief executive between 2003 and 2006, when he moved to become chief executive of Bradford Council, where he stayed for eight years.

He became chief executive of Liverpool City Council in 2018, being the authority’s senior official through a tumultuous four-year period as the working practices and culture of former regimes were laid bare.

Ultimately resigning in 2022, Reeves – who by and large attracted praise for setting in motion the correcting of historical wrongs in a chaotic environment – steered the city through a spell which covered the Operation Aloft investigation and the downfall of former mayor Joe Anderson; the imposition of a Whitehall-appointed board of commissioners following the Caller Report; and the economic and cultural struggles wrought by the Covid pandemic.

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