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Ian Thomas to join another London borough after Lewisham exit

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Ian Thomas is set to be appointed chief executive of Kingston-upon-Thames RBC six weeks after he left Lewisham LBC just seven months into the job.

A meeting of full council will tomorrow consider the appointment.

Mr Thomas agreed to step aside from his role as Lewisham’s chief executive at the end of October as the council decided to “take a new direction” following the election of Damien Egan (Lab) as mayor.

Mr Thomas had been appointed by Lewisham’s former mayor Sir Steve Bullock (Lab), who stepped down at the May election, and it is believed the chief executive and the new mayor found it difficult to work with one another.

Mr Thomas was previously strategic director for children and young people at Rotherham MBC from January 2015, spearheading the metropolitan council’s efforts to overcome its child sexual exploitation scandal.

Responding at the time to Mr Thomas’s departure from Lewisham, the president of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers (Solace) Jo Miller said the council appeared to have “done a modernisation U-turn without reason”.

Following today’s announcement, Mr Thomas said: “I am incredibly excited about heading up the staff team at [Kingston], a vibrant outer London borough, with such a rich heritage.

“The leader Liz Green (Lib Dem) and her administration have ambitious plans to work in collaboration with all stakeholders, to create a place where everyone can thrive.

“Having had the privilege of meeting an impressive selection of members, officers and partners, I am looking forward to being part of a movement, which will see the development of a better Kingston for all residents and visitors.”

Cllr Green said: “Ian’s local government knowledge and expertise, particularly in relation to children’s services, makes him the right person for the job. Ian joins us at an exciting time, at the start of a new Liberal Democrat administration, which is committed to putting residents and communities at the heart of the council’s decision-making.

“We know that our challenging financial position means there are some tough decisions ahead. I have no doubt that Ian’s dynamism and skills will help guide us through this, and together, we will ensure the council produces the best results for all of Kingston’s communities.”

Kingston’s previous chief executive Charlie Adan resigned after the Liberal Democrats took control of the council from the Conservatives in May.

Roy Thompson has been acting as interim chief executive since.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Here is a way to save money during this financially challenaging times:
    Don't get chief executives to resign with pay offs.

    If someone's job is terminated early then I don't have a problem with them being paid money but I do object to their employment finishing early in the first place. If they are not politically neutral then they should be dismissed, otherwise their employment should continue.

    If I resigned I wouldn't get a pay off.

    I do wish Mr Thomas well in his new role though.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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