Council chief executive will step down next spring

Howard Bernstein has announced he will retire next spring, after 19 years leading Manchester City Council.

As chief executive of the council, Bernstein (pictured) is widely considered one of Britain’s most successful local authority leaders, having helped regenerate huge swathes of Manchester during his tenure.

Bernstein has also been a leading voice in the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ initiative - which today gets a dedicated think tank launched by former chancellor George Osborne.

He also helped broker the first city deal and a combined authority for Greater Manchester, giving the region greater devolved powers over transport and housing.

Bernstein said there was “still considerable work to do in the months ahead”, adding that his focus on the city “will not be diminished”.

He added: “It has been a privilege to serve the city during such a pivotal period, working with many excellent people both within the council and in public and private partner organisations.”

Greater Manchester will elect its first mayor next May. Andy Burnham was selected as Labour’s candidate last month.