Tower Hamlets Facing Further Government Intervention

The Department of Communities and Local Government has proposed new directions for Tower Hamlets Council.

The Secretary of State has proposed to direct the council to define and establish a new senior officer position designated as Head of Paid Service, with line management responsibility for all of the council’s staff – within one month of the date of direction. 

As part of the proposed direction, the appointment to this position must be reached through a full and open recruitment process.

The Council now has until the 13th of April to respond to the consultation on directions.

Cllr Rachael Saunders, Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:

“Tower Hamlets Council is now likely to be subject to a further direction because Lutfur Rahman's obsession with secrecy and control led him to refuse to agree to a proper recruitment process for the council's most senior officer.  

The Chief Executive/Head of Paid Service role is vital to good governance, and local people suffer for as long as there is uncertainty about the council's officer leadership.  

Lutfur Rahman was only willing to support an internal, very brief, limited recruitment exercise.  For the most senior officer in the council, we need a public advert, proper interviews, clear and objective criteria - basic when recruiting to any role, vital for the most senior officer of Tower Hamlets Council.  

It would be better to be moving out of directions, rather than receiving more, but the intransigence of Lutfur Rahman, and his determination to avoid proper public transparency, makes this additional direction from the Secretary of State inevitable.”   

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