Tributes to former council boss

Russell Bradley, Chief Executive Scarborough District Council 1974
Russell Bradley, Chief Executive Scarborough District Council 1974

The man who became the first chief executive of Scarborough Borough Council following the reorganisation of local government in 1974 has died aged 82.

Russell Bradley took the top job when the new authority was formed out of six smaller organisations, which were Scarborough Corporation, Urban District Councils 
in Scalby, Filey and Whitby, plus Whitby Rural District Council and part of Bridlington Rural District Council.

Mr Bradley, who is originally from Chesterfield, qualified as a solicitor in 1966 and later became assistant town clerk to Derbyshire’s town clerk, Richard Clegg.

He later became assistant town clerk at Worthing, before moving to Scarborough as deputy town clerk to Glynn Morgan.

Mr Bradley then became chief executive of the new Scarborough Borough Council, with a patch that stretched from Staithes to Speeton.

He was to become a key figure in attracting private and public sector investment to the town, from which the area is still benefiting.

Mr Bradley was also a key figure in the local government world across North Yorkshire, working with many senior officers.

On retiring from the role, in 1985, he said that one of his major achievements was that Scarborough Council was better off financially, despite restrictions on spending and problems caused by being a tourist authority.

He added that he was proud of the fact the council was one of the first to take advantage of EEC grants, particularly for Whitby Marina and Scarborough Spa.

Tributes have been paid by John Trebble, who took over as chief executive when Mr Bradley stepped down.

He said: “He was instrumental in steering through the changes that led to the creation the new borough council and it was no mean task to achieve that. He was a very good chief executive and ran a good authority. I was very fortunate in succeeding him.”

Castle ward councillor Janet Jefferson also paid tribute, saying: “He was a very remarkable man of the era and people held him in very high esteem for what he did for the town.

“He was a highly regarded officer who worked very hard for the borough and he’ll be sadly missed.”

Long-serving councillor David Jeffels said Mr Bradley had been an “inspiration”, adding: “He had vision, enabling the council to punch above its weight - a policy which it has continued to pursue.

“Russell played a key part in bringing about the Stephen Joseph Theatre as we know it today, when it was able to make its home at the former Odeon Cinema.

“He also inspired the splendid initiative of attracting steam trains to Scarborough as a result of seizing the opportunity to have a turntable re-built, enabling many thousands of people to re-live the days of steam travel to the seaside.

“Outside Scarborough, Russell was a well-respected leader among chief executives in local government, and he was able to use his many skills and knowledge in retirement to aid the fishing industry when he became chief executive of the National federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, and as a planning inspector. He will be warmly remembered for his wealth of advice both inside and outside the council, and as someone who worked tirelessly for the borough during its formative years.” His funeral will be at St Helen’s and All Saints, Wykeham, on Saturday April 13 at 2pm.