JOHN Sunderland, North Devon Council's chief executive is set to retire this autumn. He joined the Council in 1990 as assistant director of finance and became director of resources in 1994. He later moved on to become deputy chief executive and in Septem

JOHN Sunderland, North Devon Council's chief executive is set to retire this autumn.He joined the Council in 1990 as assistant director of finance and became director of resources in 1994. He later moved on to become deputy chief executive and in September, 2002, began in his role as chief executive.During his time at the council, a number of important projects and schemes have been achieved. These include:* The sale of the council's housing stock and setting up of North Devon Homes* Supporting Devon County Council's efforts to deliver Barnstaple's new bridge* Creating North Devon and Exmoor Regeneration Company and North Devon Marketing Bureau (both now part of North Devon Plus) * Building the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe and forming the North Devon Theatres Trust* Building of the new Ilfracombe PierThe most recent achievement was raising the council's Comprehensive Performance Assessment rating from "weak" to within a whisker of "good". This was a result of ongoing improvement in the quality and efficiency of services, good business planning processes, strong performance management and highly regarded, well trained staff.Initially John had planned to retire in March last year, but following the Government's proposal to carry out a review of local government in Devon, he agreed to defer his plans.Since then he has helped support and build the case for a Northern Devon unitary council, which the council believes would provide the best services for the people of North Devon. He has also encouraged local people to give their views to the Boundary Committee.The consultation phase of the review finishes at the end of September. After this the Boundary Committee will consider all of the information and views they have received and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State at the end of the year.John Sunderland said:: "The Boundary Committee requires no further input from the council during this final part of the review and it's a logical time for me to pick up my retirement plans again. These plans have been somewhat sharpened by some important personal and family issues, so on balance, the timing is right for both me and the council.'The council is working on the interim arrangements, which have yet to be decided.