The chief executive of a council in Cumbria has retired from his "challenging" job, it has been announced.
Kevin Douglas will step down from his post at Eden District Council in March 2011 after three and a half years.
He said he had worked with "dedicated" staff but had found the job a challenge amid budget cuts and the collapse of a shopping development in Penrith.
A meeting will be held on 16 December to discuss appointing a successor.
Mr Douglas joined the authority from Harrogate Borough Council in July 2007.
He said: "My time with Eden District Council has been challenging, but I have been fortunate to work with dedicated and professional staff and councillors which ensured the council were able to respond to whatever was thrown at us.
"With local elections in May, I felt it was the right time for me to stand down and allow my successor to work with the new council to continue to address the difficult issues facing the area as a whole."
Council leader Gordon Nicolson said: "Kevin has been our chief officer through some of the most testing times for local authorities.
"He has worked hard to serve the interests of the residents and support members of the council.
"He has led the Council through the difficult task of coping with a much reduced income and getting the Penrith New Squares project back on the road.
"I am sure that council staff will join me in wishing Kevin a long and happy retirement."