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Tri-borough councils 'should have separate chiefs'

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Each authority in the west London “tri-borough” should have its own chief executive, a review of the arrangement has found.

The review, commissioned by the authority’s Labour administration shortly after it took power in May, was carried out by Labour peer Lord Andrew Adonis, professor Tony Travers from the London School of Economics, Deborah Lincoln, senior vice-president at Warner Bros and cabinet member for finance Max Schmid (Lab).

It was set up to assess the partnership between Hammersmith & Fulham LBC, Kensington & Chelsea RBC and Westminster City Council.

The report, published today, called for the appointment of a dedicated chief executive for each borough as part of a set of recommendations to improve “accountability and control”. It also said leaders and cabinet members from the three boroughs should have “frequent meetings”.

It said existing shared services should be “open to other boroughs”, and added that the name “tri-borough” was “misleading” because it suggested “exclusivity to the three boroughs involved, appearing to have taken on its own ‘brand’ or ‘club’ status”.

The review also highlighted the need for the authorities to improve their “commercial capabilities”.

“Despite the challenges, it is apparent from the work carried out for this review that joint working has delivered benefits for [Hammersmith & Fulham LBC]; and further benefits are in train for the future,” it said.

“However, the joint working arrangements should not continue as they currently are, as improvements need to be made and a number of challenges addressed.”

More to follow

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