A DELAYED retirement party has taken place for Borough of Poole chief executive John McBride, who officially left the council at the end of March.

His party was delayed by ‘a nasty bout of food poisoning’, but took place at the Civic Centre on April 17, attended by current and former colleagues.

He had spent 12 years heading the council and in recent years steering it through difficult financial times.

John originally came to Poole in 1986 as assistant treasurer and, after a spell away from the council, was appointed policy director before becoming chief executive in 2002.

Originally from Hull, he started his career as a trainee accountant in Nottinghamshire.

In a message to staff he said: “It was a huge privilege to be chief executive of Poole and to have worked with such a talented and committed group of staff, councillors and partners.

“Together we achieved a great deal to improve the quality of life for people in Poole and I hope that you share my pride in that work.”

After one attempt to find a replacement the job is being re-advertised, and in the meantime strategic director Andrew Flockhart is acting chief executive.

John said: “It’s a pity that the recruitment of a new chief executive is taking longer than originally hoped, but as I always said to new staff at induction, recruitment is so important, we cannot afford to get it wrong.”

He added: “I have been so lucky to have worked with many hugely-talented directors and service unit heads in my time at Poole and I am confident that you are in good hands.”

Paying tribute to him, Cllr Elaine Atkinson, leader of the council said: “John is an excellent chief executive who made an enormous contribution to Poole during his many years with the council.”