Redbridge Homes chief leaves seven months after suspension

Mystery surrounds the departure of Redbridge Homes chief executive Sharon Standell, who had been suspended during an investigation.

Mrs Standell, who had held the post since 2008, was suspended in December 2010 while the council investigated “governance issues”.

Since being suspended on full pay, a handful of board members quit their positions, including Cllr Gwyneth Deakins.

Now, Cllr Deakins has spoken out about the money that she says has been spent in re-appointing new management.

She said: “There have been two interims since she was suspended seven months ago.

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“Don’t forget, during this time, she was on full pay. The whole planning of this was botched from the start,” she added. Simon Barry, the council’s director of housing and community services, took over as temporary manager shortly after, and this year, a new interim has been appointed, Mark Easton.

Cllr Deakins said: “This is all money coming out of the Redbridge Homes budget at times of financial strain. The whole thing is a complete mess.”

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The council has declined to comment on the departure of Mrs Standell, or confirm whether she was sacked or left of her own accord.

“It’s my understanding that they can’t afford to employ the basic people such as cleaners because they are spending so much money on management,” added Cllr Deakins.

The organisation has been awarded an extra �18.6million in government funding over the next three years.

Redbridge Homes is an arms length management organisation responsible for 7,000 homes across the borough.

An assessment of the organisation by the Audit Commission last year gave it an improved two-star rating, stating it had “promising prospects.”

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