A council officer who has served Redbridge for 22 years is stepping down.

Paul Umfreville is the chairman of Redbridge Council’s scrutiny panel and will leave his post on Thursday this week to pursue studies and charity work.

Mr Umfreville plans to move to Dublin to study at university and in the long-term will contribute to Brazilian children’s charities, tackling poverty and gang culture among young people there.

Councillors praised the officer’s long-standing commitment to the borough and its residents and highlighted how he built up the council’s scrutiny policy “from quite humble beginnings.”

Cllr Linda Huggett, leader of the Conservative group, said: “Scrutiny will just not be the same without you. Thank you very much, I’m sure with members’ help we will go from strength to strength.”

Mr Umfreville said he had every faith that his colleagues will carry on the hard work.

Addressing councillors he said: “One thing I will say is scrutiny is about member involvement, you’ve done the work. It’s not them and us, members need to work with cabinet members and scrutiny remains important.”

The council wished him all the best in future.