THE interim chief executive of Worcestershire County Council Steve Stewart has died.

Mr Stewart passed away overnight on Wednesday, aged 64. His family has been informed.

Before joining the council in May of last year, Mr Stewart had a career lasting more than 40 years in local government.

He was the chief executive at three different councils - York, Northumberland and Worcestershire.

Cllr Adrian Hardman, deputy leader of the Worcestershire County Council, said: "This is very sad news.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.

"Steve made a big contribution to this council during his time with us and for that we are really grateful.

"He will be sadly missed by everyone."

Worcestershire County Council chairman Anne Hingley added: "I am deeply shocked by this news. I have been extremely grateful to Steve for his excellent service to Worcestershire - and in particular his input with Children's Services.

"My thoughts & prayers are with his family at this sad time."