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Councils to end joint chief exec arrangements but shared legal service to stay

Two local authorities have decided to stop having a joint chief executive, but their shared legal service and a joint strategy team will remain in place.

Graham Farrant has been chief executive of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Thurrock Council since July 2012.

In a statement he said the decision to end the shared chief executive arrangement reflected the need for the councils to have more capacity.

Farrant, who will revert to being chief executive of Thurrock, said: “The pace of change that is needed to respond to the agenda of the new administration in Barking and Dagenham, alongside the massive savings agenda for all local authorities, means that a full-time appointment is now needed.”

He added: “I am proud to have worked as chief executive for the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham for a second time, alongside my substantive role with Thurrock Council – it has been a privilege to help shape the growth agenda and to look at infrastructure investment requirements across a wider area and to establish the new vision and priorities.”

Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: “I am pleased that Thurrock Council has been able to provide this level of support to Barking & Dagenham for the last two years and this certainly is not the end of our shared ambition for growth and development along the Thames Gateway; an arrangement which has benefitted everybody for the last two years.”

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking & Dagenham Council, said: “Our new administration has set out an exciting and challenging agenda for the borough, locking our future more strongly into the London economy and working with a range of partners around east London and beyond.”