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Redbridge housing chief suspended

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Redbridge LBC has suspended Sharon Standell, chief executive of the council’s housing arm’s length management organisation (ALMO), and has launched an investigation into the organisation’s governance.

Ms Standell, who joined Redbridge Homes ALMO in 2008, was removed from her post on 2 December.

Redbridge Homes chairman Thomas Lewis has also resigned. He was appointed to the position in November last year.

Simon Barry, the council’s director of housing and community services, is now acting as interim manager of the ALMO. According to the council he will continue in this role “for the immediate future”.

LGC understands the move may have been taken over concerns regarding a pay increase for Ms Standell awarded by the ALMO board 18 months ago. Mr Lewis is thought to have resigned in protest at the suspension.

A council spokesman said: “Suspension is a neutral act to allow an investigation to be carried out, and does not imply any wrongdoing.

“As soon as concerns were brought to the council’s attention, we took the appropriate action.”

Ms Standell joined Redbridge Homes in 2008 having previously worked at Sanctuary Housing Association. She was also director of housing at Tower Hamlets Community Housing and has more than 15 years’ experience in senior housing management.

Over the last year the ALMO cut a director from its executive team and reduced the number of agency staff as part of a package of measures slash costs by £1.1m.

Redbridge Homes was awarded a two star “good” service with promising prospects for improvement in an Audit Commission inspection carried out in February this year.

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