A new chief executive has been appointed by Rushmoor Borough Council (RBC), following the retirement of Andrew Lloyd .

Mr Lloyd retired on Friday February 24 after more than 20 years as chief executive and a total of 28 years at the local authority.

Paul Shackley, who is currently a corporate director at Wycombe District Council, will take up the position at the beginning of May after his appointment was endorsed by the full council in a vote on February 23.

Councillor David Clifford, leader of RBC, revealed that 32 people had applied for the post, which he said “reflects the strong reputation that the council has”.

“Paul was an extremely strong candidate with an outstanding background for getting things done, particularly in regeneration, economic growth and commercial services,” Cllr Clifford said. “These are areas of high priority for our cabinet.

“The recruitment panel agreed unanimously that Paul was the best person for the job, so I am extremely pleased that he has accepted the position and I can’t wait to start working with him."

Mr Shackley started his working life as an air traffic controller in the Royal Air Force . Since then, his career path has taken him through a number of positions in the public and not-for-profit sectors, including Cheshire Police.

His most recent posts have been as deputy chief executive of Allerdale Borough Council in Cumbria and currently Wycombe District Council in Buckinghamshire.

A former international swimmer, he represented both England and Great Britain at the highest level, including the Commonwealth Games . Born in Wigan, he grew up in Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.

“Rushmoor’s plans fit very much with my own views and experience of regeneration and commercialisation ,” Mr Shackley said.

“I have been very impressed so far with what I have seen of the council and its relationship with its partners and the local community .

“There are also exciting times ahead for both Aldershot and Farnborough . I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and getting to know the area, its communities and organisations.

“The council has made excellent progress so far in dealing with the challenges facing the sector .

“I hope that my experience can enhance that progress and ensure that Rushmoor continues to punch above its weight at local, regional, national and international level.

“The council also has a committed and excellent workforce and I am looking forward to working with them in the future.”