Head of Thurrock Council formally appointed as Barking and Dagenham chief executive

Graham Farrant, the chief executive of Thurrock Council, has formally been appointed as head of Barking and Dagenham Council.

Mr Farrant, who will now lead both authorities, was chosen for the role after former chief executive Stella Manzie resigned from her post in June after just over a year in the job.

His appointment was formally agreed at last night’s council Assembly meeting at Barking Town Hall.

Barking and Dagenham is the first authority in London to link up its leadership with a council outside of the capital.

Council leader, Liam Smith, said today: “Not only is this a pioneering appointment due to the nature of the shared service role between a London and non-London borough, but it also offers real savings which will help us protect the front line that little bit more during a time of unprecedented government cuts.

“I have tasked Graham with conducting a thorough review of how the council operates and how we provide services to our residents.

“We must work harder to fulfil the needs of people living in a relatively deprived borough where there is ever greater call on our services.”

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Cllr Smith said Mr Farrant’s main focus over the next few weeks would be to help deliver a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mr Farrant, who held the role of Barking and Dagenham chief executive between 2000 and 2004, said he was thrilled about his new role and added:

“The joint chief executive role not only reinforces the strong and flourishing relationship between our two boroughs, but it also delivers value to local council tax payers.

“I am very much looking forward to working with such a committed group of elected members and officers to deliver on the priorities of the Council’s administration.”