The Tower Hamlets Council will be without a chief executive until after the 2014 Mayoral election due to the council being unable to agree on a suitable candidate for the position.
At a council meeting on January 23, members of the council decided to extend the contract of the current acting CEO, Stephen Halsey, until 2014 in order to avoid government intervention.
Halsey, the head of Paid Services, has been acting as CEO since the resignation of Kevan Collins in July 2011. He had initially announced that he would not extend his contract past January 2013.
The appointment of a CEO has been held up because the mayor’s preferred candidate, Aman Dalvi, has been blocked by the opposition parties and the council has since been unable to agree on a suitable alternative for the chief executive role.
Following the decision to extend Halsey’s contract, a council spokesperson said: “Stephen Halsey was confirmed as Head of Paid Service with immediate effect until Autumn 2014. He will also continue in his role as Corporate Director for Communities, Localities and Culture.”
After the meeting, the leader of the Labour Group, Councillor Joshua Peck, said: “Tonight the council made a decision which will allow us to move forward with a clear leadership structure.
“This has been a long and frustrating process which has been hindered throughout by the conduct of the Mayor and his supporters in their attempts to force their preferred candidate into the role.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Luftur Rahman has said that he is happy with the decision to appoint Halsey: “I am pleased that we have secured Stephen as Head of Paid Service until Autumn 2014.
“Tower Hamlets is a high performing council in areas as diverse as education, house building and parks and this appointment means we can continue to concentrate on what we do best which is to provide high quality services for residents.”