WALTHAM FOREST: New law and governance director hired following contracts fiasco

THE council has appointed a new law and governance director following a damning report into the way the authority handles finances.

Terry Osborne has been drafted in from Brent Council and will begin work in February.

She has been tasked with improving contracting practices after the report, written by an independent panel of local government heavyweights, showed a systemic failings in financial management.

The council’s senior management team will shrink from 20 to 8 after the panel, chaired by London Development Agency chief executive Sir Peter Rogers, found “structural weaknesses”, holding back performance improvement and governance.

Chief executive Andrew Kilburn has pledged to restructure the leadership team to “enhance collective responsibility”.

The senior management team will now consist of a small executive board made up of the executive and strategic directors, the chief executive and his deputy.

Mr Kilburn stated in a report to the council’s cabinet that Waltham Forest had the largest senior management team in capital, second only to the City of London.

A spokesman for the council said: “One of the things Ms Osborne will specifically be looking at is procurement where the council needs to improve.

“We have had an interim in the post and part of the plan is to get more people into permanent roles.”

The panel, which also included former Improvement & Development Agency executive director Lucy de Groot, was appointed by Mr Kilburn in May 2009.

It was set up to look into the mismanagement of millions of pounds after doubts were raised over whether support was being given to some of the borough’s most vulnerable people.

Comments (6)

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9:17am Fri 15 Jan 10

Techno2 says...

Will they be getting rid of the ineffective and possibly corrupt deadwood or just putting another layer of bureaucrats on top of it?

Will the 12 out of 20 members of the current 'senior' management team who have proved so useless, untrustworthy and expensive be fired?
Will they be getting rid of the ineffective and possibly corrupt deadwood or just putting another layer of bureaucrats on top of it? Will the 12 out of 20 members of the current 'senior' management team who have proved so useless, untrustworthy and expensive be fired? Techno2
  • Score: 0

9:47am Fri 15 Jan 10

Touchwood says...

'Handles finances'? My cats could run this borough's finances better than the gang in Forest Road!!
'Handles finances'? My cats could run this borough's finances better than the gang in Forest Road!! Touchwood
  • Score: 0

11:09am Fri 15 Jan 10

newyear says...

I wonder if Ms Osborne will be on performance-related pay?
I wonder if Ms Osborne will be on performance-related pay? newyear
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6:52pm Fri 15 Jan 10

mdj says...

'The council’s senior management team will shrink from 20 to 8 after...'

Does this mean 12 sackings for ncompetence, or better still 12 arrests? Don't hold your breath.
Claire, you could have asked another killer question: does this result in a reduction in the total management staff employed, or an increase?
'The council’s senior management team will shrink from 20 to 8 after...' Does this mean 12 sackings for ncompetence, or better still 12 arrests? Don't hold your breath. Claire, you could have asked another killer question: does this result in a reduction in the total management staff employed, or an increase? mdj
  • Score: 0

6:56pm Fri 15 Jan 10

mdj says...

It does of course show that nobody currently handling LBWF's finances is trusted to do it properly, so it's fair to ask why they'll still be employed.
It does of course show that nobody currently handling LBWF's finances is trusted to do it properly, so it's fair to ask why they'll still be employed. mdj
  • Score: 0

11:11pm Fri 15 Jan 10

NT says...

I understand that 33 of the so-called 'top 40' officers at LBWF are temporary appointments, reflecting the fact that the authority is now so dependent on consultants.

I wonder whether Ms. Osborne, so dramatically 'drafted in from Brent Council', will turn out to be yet more of the same - in effect an expensive part-timer, here today and soon departed
I understand that 33 of the so-called 'top 40' officers at LBWF are temporary appointments, reflecting the fact that the authority is now so dependent on consultants. I wonder whether Ms. Osborne, so dramatically 'drafted in from Brent Council', will turn out to be yet more of the same - in effect an expensive part-timer, here today and soon departed NT
  • Score: 0

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