Chief Exec' gets top Improvement post

COUNCIL chief Rob Whiteman will step down from his top Town Hall spot after the general and local elections in May. He leaves Barking and Dagenham to take up a major national post as managing director of the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA). Anno

COUNCIL chief Rob Whiteman will step down from his top Town Hall spot after the general and local elections in May.

He leaves Barking and Dagenham to take up a major national post as managing director of the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA).

Announcing his resignation to colleagues on Thursday, Rob said: "I have been honoured to serve as the council's chief executive for five years this month.

"For me, working here has always been more than a job, and although now taking up a new post elsewhere, I will remain committed to supporting this area's community in whatever ways possible in the years ahead."


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He added: "My success in being appointed to this important national role is in no small measure owing to what has been achieved in Barking and Dagenham.

"I am proud of the exceptional team of people we have built.

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"I am grateful to members, managers and staff for the support I have received."

Since Rob became chief executive, the council has moved from two-star to four -star status and won the Local Government Chronicle's Most Improved Council award in 2008.

The authority has also been praised for its green credentials and was awarded beacon status for tackling climate change.

Rob has overseen the complete, if sometimes controversial, remodelling of Barking Town Centre, the building of 18 new children's centres and the plans for thousands of new homes.

Council leader, Cllr Liam Smith, said: "Rob was a breath of fresh air when he arrived and he has made a huge impact on the performance of the council.

"Of course he will be missed, but while I'm personally sad to see him go, we are delighted that someone from Barking and Dagenham Council has been chosen for such an important role.

"I'm sure he will be very successful."

Rob will remain as chief executive of the council until mid-May when, Cllr Smith says, the authority will begin the search for his replacement.

He will then start his new job as managing director of the IDeA - a body which supports and advises councils across the country. The current MD, Paul Roberts, will retire this year.

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