A leading town hall official has said a fond farewell as he retires.
Hartlepool Council chief executive Dave Stubbs said goodbye to the offices after a 44-year career in local government.
The popular officer joined the council in 1971 as a work study officer and went on to hold a number of senior positions before being appointed chief executive in October 2012.
Remarkably, he has not missed a single day’s work during his whole career because of illness.
Speaking on his last day at work, the 66-year-old said: “Today, I’m finally drawing the curtain on what has been an extremely enjoyable but sometimes challenging career working for Hartlepool Council.
“I can’t begin to try and put into words just how proud I am to have served my home town for so long.
“I know I am going to miss it immensely. The council has been a huge part of my life for many years.
“I would, however, like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years. I think I am leaving the council in a very strong position.
“There are many first class officers and hard-working councillors who care passionately about the town and fully understand the challenges it faces.”
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of the council, said: “Dave Stubbs has been a very strong, loyal and committed chief executive who has helped to drive the council forward since his appointment two and a half years ago.
“He has worked his way up through the ranks over the years and is a great inspiration to our younger officers. He has demonstrated that if you work hard, show commitment, be passionate and bold and believe in your own ability, you can achieve anything in life.
“Dave has always had a great work ethic and there’s no doubt he’ll be an extremely hard act to follow.”
A collection by colleagues raised £370 which Dave has donated to the Hartlepool and District Hospice.
He will be replaced by Gill Alexander, the council’s current Director of Child and Adult Services.