Redbridge chief executive to step down

Redbridge Chief Executive Andy Donald

Redbridge Council's chief executive Andy Donald announced he would step down in the spring - Credit: Archant

The chief executive of Redbridge Council will step down in the spring after five years in the top job.

Andy Donald announced the news yesterday and said that he would resign in the spring once the vaccine was well on its way to be rolling out.

In a letter sent to colleagues, seen by the Recorder, Mr Donald said he made the decision to resign after hitting a milestone birthday "to reflect on what I want to do for the remaining years of my career".

The council said it would make arrangements for recruiting a new chief executive in the new year.

In a release announcing the news the council touted Mr Donald's accomplishments since joining the council in 2016 for it being twice shortlisted for the MJ Council of the Year award and for being recognised for its children's and adult services.

Redbridge Council chief executive Andy Donald, council leader Cllr Jas Athwal and cabinet member for

Council leader Jas Athwal said Andy helped transform Redbridge into an inclusive, ambitious and highly-regarded local authority - Credit: Archant

Conservative Cllr Paul Canal, who sat on Mr Donald's appointment panel, said there would be "chaos" at the heart of the Labour-run administration with this vacancy on top of not having a housing director and a housing cabinet member at the same time.

Council leader Jas Athwal called Mr Donald "a first-class chief executive who has helped transform the council into an inclusive, ambitious and highly-regarded local authority across London and the country".

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Cllr Athwal said: "His commitment, dedication, and professionalism are second to none."

Mr Donald said: “It has been an absolute privilege to have managed the council over the last five years, alongside the leader of the council. In particular, I want to pay tribute to our brilliant staff team, whose commitment to the residents and communities of Redbridge is second to none.

“I’m determined to ensure that the council continues to do all that it can to support Redbridge communities through the current pandemic. By the spring, the vaccine will be well on the way to being rolled out, and that will provide me with the opportunity to step back and spend some time reflecting on my future career direction.”

It is believed that Mr Donald will step down in March but there is a possibility he could stay on for a few months to help the transition during the Greater London Authority elections and the by-elections for the two empty seats in Seven Kings and Loxford.

Cllr Canal said: “This is the latest in an avalanche of resignations and sackings at senior officer and cabinet level that has doubtless cost ratepayers thousands in severance payments.  We even have the double whammy of no housing director and no housing cabinet member, a new low even by Labour's standards.

“The best Christmas present the borough can hope for now is for a clearly exhausted leader and deputy to step down to end the bloodletting and bring stability at this crucial time for our borough.” 

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