Kirklees Council has officially appointed its new chief executive to replace Jacqui Gedman, who will retire in October.

The appointment of Steve Mawson was confirmed by a unanimous vote of councillors at an extraordinary full meeting of Kirklees Council at Huddersfield Town Hall.

Ms Gedman announced her retirement in March and Mr Mawson was revealed as her replacement in July.

Kirklees Council is facing a financial crisis and has a £47 million shortfall in its budget for this year. The council warned that if costs continued to grow and savings were not made, it would have to issue a Section 114 notice, effectively declaring itself bankrupt.

The council has already warned of redundancies and has imposed measures to slash costs including a recruitment freeze, a ban on non-essential spending and moves to speed up the sale of council land and buildings deemed surplus to requirements.

Public service union UNISON said this week they had been told there would be 250 job losses and a spokesman added: “Putting workers through this anxiety during a cost-of-living crisis is just cruel.”

The appointment of Mr Mawson (above) , who comes to Kirklees from Gloucestershire County Council where he was deputy chief executive and executive director of corporate resources, was confirmed in a meeting that lasted less than 11 minutes.

Only one councillor spoke and that was Mirfield Tory councillor Martyn Bolt who said a report given to councillors on the appointment “doesn’t give us a lot of information on one of the most important decisions the council is making.”

He said he was sure other councillors and members of the public “would want an insight into how Mr Mawson is going to deal with the current financial position when he comes into post.”

He added: “We have seen statements from Cabinet members but it would be helpful to have something from the new chief executive.”

Mr Mawson, who has previously served as chief financial officer at Doncaster Council, is due to take up his post at the beginning of October but is already working with the council’s senior leadership team.

Kirklees Council is currently without a leader following the resignation of Clr Shabir Pandor (Lab, Batley East). A new leader is expected to be elected on September 13.

Acting council leader Clr Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East) said: “I’m really pleased that Steve’s appointment has been approved by council.

“Steve has extensive experience in local government and an impressive record of success. He is the right person to help us deliver on our priorities and was the unanimous choice of the Appointments Panel.

“Steve’s extensive experience coupled with his financial expertise will also be major assets for Kirklees as we move forward through the economically challenging times faced by councils across the country.”

In a statement, Mr Mawson said: “It’s an honour to be appointed as Kirklees Council’s chief executive. I am excited to have the opportunity to lead council staff and assist the council leadership in delivering on the ambitious and robust plans for the future of Kirklees.

“My focus is firmly on that and on providing stability in the uncertain times we are facing. I am thoroughly enjoying my time so far in Kirklees and I can’t wait to spend more time getting to know the team and getting involved in our communities.”