DUDLEY Council’s chief executive is to stand down from his £157,000 a year job after four decades in local government.

John Polychronakis, who has held the top job at the authority for five-and-a-half years, will retire when a successor has been chosen.

Mr Polychronakis, aged 61, has opted to step aside ahead of a corporate restructuring as the council attempts to save £30m over the next three years.

He said: “Now is the right time for me to stand down so that my successor can be appointed to coincide with the restructuring process.

“It has been a marvelous experience to be chief executive of Dudley and I have had the benefit of working with so many talented people, both councillors and officers, whose shared objective is to do their best for the people of Dudley.”

Councillor David Sparks, leader of Dudley Council, said: “John Polychronakis has worked tirelessly over the last five years as chief executive of Dudley Council and he will undoubtedly be missed.

“Not only has he carried out his duties as chief executive with great dedication, he has been a tremendous servant to Dudley Council for the last 27 years and to local government for nearly 40 years. On behalf of everyone at Dudley Council I wish John all the best in his retirement.”

The outgoing chief began his council career as a clerk at Liverpool City Council in 1975 and moved to a senior role at Dudley 1987.

Before taking the top job he was the borough’s director of Law and Property.