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High profile local government figures from across the country are among the 10-strong task force set to sail into H...
High profile local government figures from across the country are among the 10-strong task force set to sail into Hackney LBC in a bid to avoid government intervention.

Nottingham City Council chief executive Ted Cantle and former Manchester City Council assistant chief executive Patricia Coleman will be among those named by Hackney and the Improvement and Development Agency later this month. Ms Coleman is now project manager at IDeA.

The pair will be among six highly experienced local government figures to play a strategic advisory role. The six advisers will remain in their normal jobs, but four managers at chief officer or deputy chief officer level will be seconded to the council.

LGC revealed last month IDeA was helping the borough find a team of experts (LGC, 28 July). The borough was the only one of 524 local authorities to have its best value performance plan rejected by the district auditor - the first step towards government intervention.

Among those to serve on secondment will be Newham LBC assistant chief executive Leo Boland. He will oversee an overhaul of the troubled housing benefit contract with ITnet. Other names have yet to be confirmed.

Initially Hackney chief executive Max Caller did not want to describe the move as a task force. But he and the leaders of the Labour and Conservative groups this week confirmed that 'some of the best brains in local government' will soon be working in the borough.

Mr Caller said: 'We need an injection of brains and resources to begin to immediately address the serious problems Hackney is now facing, and this plan provides for both.'

PricewaterhouseCoopers is to provide Hackney with internal audit services in a four and a half year deal.

Neither the council nor IdeA would confirm other names, as contracts with the team's employing councils were still being finalised this week.

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