Wealden District Council’s chief executive Charles Lant has announced his intention to retire.
After 40 years in public service, the last 16 of which was as chief executive for the council, he has decided to step down from the role and retire from local government.
“Wealden has been a very big part of my life and I feel very privileged to have been able to work with such great people, including officers, councillors, and other partners and, of course, the wider Wealden community,” said Mr Lant.
“It’s always sad to leave, especially with some exciting and challenging times ahead, but then there are always exciting and challenging times in this job.
“I have really enjoyed it.
“Wealden has a great future ahead of it, and I feel the time is right to hand over the reins to a successor.”
During his time at Wealden, the council has seen major change and Mr Lant has overseen numerous projects, including the transformation programme, reducing the council’s running costs by more than £4 million a year since 2010, the building of 160 council homes providing much needed affordable housing across the district, and more recently promoting the council’s work on health, wellbeing, and loneliness to a national audience.
Paying tribute to Mr Lant, council leader, Bob Standley said, “Charlie has dedicated his working life to serving local government and the community, and in particular the district of Wealden.
“I’d like to thank him for the valued guidance and support he has given Wealden’s elected councillors through the years.
“His strong and effective management has helped us deliver considerable success for the council, the benefits of which will be felt by Wealden residents and businesses for many more years to come. We all wish him well in his much deserved retirement”.
Mr Lant will also be retiring as returning officer having overseen all elections and referenda in the district for the last 16 years.
The council will be advertising for a successor shortly with the expectation that a new chief executive will be in post in good time to oversee the 2019 district and parish council elections which will see a new boundary structure for the council following the local government boundary changes.