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Tower Hamlets fails to appoint chief

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Tower Hamlets LBC has failed to appoint a chief executive, raising the prospect of government-backed intervention at the authority.

At a full council meeting held in private on Thursday night, councillors failed to reach agreement on a replacement for its head of paid services, Stephen Halsey, who is due to leave the role early next year.

Instead they agreed to accept an offer of support from the LGA and London Councils, to help find a chief executive and other corporate directors. An LGA spokeswoman confirmed that the council had accepted the offer but said it was not yet clear what form the support would take.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the meeting was held amid “furious protests”.

The newspaper has also published extracts from the LGA and London Councils’ letter offering support, which says the offer to help “has been brought about by the Department for Communities and Local Government bringing to our attention its concerns regarding the difficulty the council is experiencing in making an appointment to the post of head of paid service.”

A council spokesperson said: “Following an extraordinary general meeting of full council last night it was decided that Stephen Halsey would continue as the interim Head of Paid Service until 14th January 2013. Council invited the LGA to help with the fresh recruitment process for a chief executive in the New Year.”


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