The chief executive of Hounslow Council said he is confident the authority has the tools it needs to cope with a predicted 25 per cent population growth in the next 20 years.

Mark Gilks, who will retire following the May elections, said the number of residents in the borough is expected to grow from 240,000 to 300,000 by 2030.

But the council boss, who has spent nearly a decade at the helm, believes he will leave the authority well prepared for the population rise.

He said: “We are very rapidly expanding, we have the third highest birth rate in London. That will put tremendous pressure on services but we look to rise to that for things like building schools for future.

“We will have more under fives and more children in primary and secondary school. We will also have more people over 85, so there is ongoing pressure for the elderly, particularly the frail elderly.

“I think the building blocks are in place to respond to that tremendous growth.”

Mr Gilks, who plans to study and do charity work when he retires, said he has seen “huge change” at the council during his nine year term, including improvements “right across the services”.

The father-of-six said: “Every single member of staff I think have been brilliant, and I’ve written to all my managers to ask them to pass that on.

“I’ve worked with politicians of all parties and all political persuasions and worked very very well with them over nine years, with four different leaders.

“But I’ve also had very very good support from our partners, the police, the primary care trust, the NHS, the voluntary sector, the business community and the fire brigade.

“I think I owe them a big vote of thanks, and I think people in the borough do as well, because we work very very well together.”