The CEO of Southampton City Council has announced he will step down after the authority's financial problems took a "significant toll" on his health. 

Chief executive Mike Harris referenced the council's ongoing financial issues as he announced he is set to leave after 25 years at the authority. 

The announcement comes just weeks after Cllr Satvir Kaur announced she would step down as leader of the council with former deputy leader Cllr Lorna Fielker taking up the position. 

An interim Chief Executive is set to be interviewed by the Chief Officer Employment Panel before the end of January.

It is expected that they will start in the role as soon as possible.

Daily Echo: Mike Harris Chief ExecutiveMike Harris Chief Executive (Image: NQ)

Mr Harris said: “Leading an organisation of this size and complexity through such a challenging financial period has taken a significant toll on my health so I have decided that it is in the best interests of myself, the council and the city that I step down so I can focus on my health and spend more time with my family.

"I have had the privilege of working at the council for over 25 years and it has been an honour to serve as Chief Executive since July 2022.

"At a time when the new Leader is working with the Improvement Board to deliver rapid and significant change, there is a need to implement a different leadership approach, and I have reflected that this is a good time for me to step away."

Cllr Lorna Fielker described him as a “tireless public servant" adding: "I fully respect and support his decision which I know has been a very difficult one for him to make.

"We have moved quickly to find an experienced replacement for Mike, and a candidate with a proven track record of delivering rapid council transformation has been identified and will be interviewed by the council’s Chief Officer Employment Panel as soon as possible.

"Personally and on behalf of the Council I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Mike for his dedication to the city and I wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”