Reading council boss to step down for new role

Ian Wardle Ian Wardle said the decision to leave was "very difficult"

The head of Reading Borough Council is to stand down after "three rewarding years".

Managing director Ian Wardle has overseen plans for £39m of budget cuts which need to be made by 2019.

Mr Wardle, who joined the council in February 2013 and is set to leave in July, said it was a "hugely difficult decision".

The council said arrangements will be made to find a successor and it would "ensure there is a smooth transition."

Mr Wardle said: "I had not been looking to leave Reading but I have been offered a role that is, for me and my family, a once in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"I will be returning to work in my native north east and to the housing sector, which is where I started my working life and is something I remain passionate about."

Mr Wardle will become group chief executive of Thirteen Group, a housing association which manages more than 32,000 homes.

He added: "There are of course further challenges for all councils ahead, but Reading is well placed to meet those."

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