Barnet officer Chris Naylor appointed as Barking and Dagenham Council’s new chief exec

Chris Naylor, inset, is the new full-time chief exec at Barking and Dagenham Council

Chris Naylor, inset, is the new full-time chief exec at Barking and Dagenham Council - Credit: Archant

Barking and Dagenham Council has picked a new full-time chief executive to replace Graham Farrant, whose part-time role was axed earlier this year.

Outgoing Barnet Council second-in-command Chris Naylor was picked by a full council vote at last night’s Town Hall meeting. The £165,000 post was advertised externally earlier this year, and 26 people applied.

A shortlist of 10 was whittled down to two in advance of the meeting, when it’s understood Mr Naylor and another applicant made presentations to the chamber behind closed doors.

After that, a majority vote selected him as the favourite.

Council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell hinted in a statement the appointment could mean a slimming down at the top end of the council.

“I hope Chris will be able to start with a review of the council’s senior management structure,” he said. “We must work harder to fulfil the needs of our many residents where there is ever greater call on our services but in the context of significantly reduced budgets.”

Mr Naylor said he was “obviously thrilled and delighted”.

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“This is a council with a reputation for doing great things but one that faces huge challenges,” he said. “The borough is a keystone in the development of London.

“I am looking forward to joining the council’s team.”

Mr Naylor has been chief operating officer and finance director in Tory-controlled Barnet since January last year, and before that worked for Tower Hamlets Council.

As of March 31 last year – the most recent date for which figures have been published – he was earning £158,464 at Barnet.

A peer review by the Local Government Association delivered to the council in September criticised a lack of strong leadership, sparking Cllr Darren Rodwell’s decision to ditch the arrangement of sharing a skipper with Thurrock Council.

“A picture has emerged of an organisation that is insufficiently corporate,” the report noted. “People spoke of the council having been much more ‘together’ until a few years ago, with subsequent instability at chief executive level [...].”

The sharing of a chief exec with Thurrock Council dates back to 2012, when it was deemed the move would make “huge savings”.

Council leader Cllr Rodwell told the Post earlier this year it had been the right decision at the time.