A LONG-SERVING local government chief executive in North Yorkshire is to retire.

Phil Morton (pictured) is stepping down voluntarily from his role at the head of Hambleton District Council, and will be replaced by his current deputy Dr Justin Ives.

Mr Morton’s voluntary retirement will help the authority reach the £1million savings it needs to make within the next 12 months – which councillors want to do without cutting services.

He joined Hambleton as treasurer in 1996, and has been chief executive since May 2012.