A district council is set to appoint their first new chief executive in almost two decades.

Chris Bally, who was born in Suffolk and lives in Felixstowe, is set to succeed Stephen Baker as East Suffolk Council's chief executive.

Mr Bally is currently the director for corporate services and deputy chief executive at Suffolk County Council.

He was worked for almost 30 years in public services, including 13 years of experience at a senior level with at the county council, as well as previously working for Tendring District Council in Essex, and the Audit Commission.

Mr Bally said: "This is a hugely exciting opportunity with one of the country’s most progressive local councils and I feel very honoured to be taking up this position.

“I have seen up close how East Suffolk Council makes a real difference for its communities and I am determined to use my own experience and awareness of local priorities to help maintain the highest possible standards.

“This is an ambitious council with a huge agenda to deliver in the next decade and I can’t wait to get started."

Mr Baker is set to retire later this year after 17 years at the helm of East Suffolk and its predecessor councils.

Mr Bally's appointment comes after a "thorough and rigorous recruitment process", where he was the unanimous choice of the interview panel.

Councillor Steve Gallant, East Suffolk Council leader, said: "Everyone involved in the recruitment process was hugely impressed by the calibre of candidates.

"However, Chris impressed us incredibly with his knowledge, determination, and enthusiasm for the role, and it is clear that he entirely understands the challenges and opportunities which East Suffolk faces.

"This is the largest district council in the country by population and we are on a journey to improve outcomes for all local people.

"Chris is highly experienced and respected in the county, and it is abundantly clear that he shares our ambitions for the area."

East Suffolk is the biggest district council in the country by population, representing 250,000 people across an area covering 487 square miles.

Mr Bally's appointment will now be subject to full council ratification, which is set to be heard at an extraordinary meeting on November 2.