Update: Barking and Dagenham chief executive Stella Manzie leaves

Stella Manzie is leaving her role as chief executive of Barking and Dagenham Council after just over a year in the job, it was announced today.

Council leader Liam Smith indicated that the authority could take a change in direction its next “leadership model” when it appoints a new chief executive. Ms Manzie is set to leave after the Olympics.

The council did not disclose details of any payment packages to be made to Ms Manzie on her departure.

Cllr Smith said today: “My councillor colleagues and I will be considering what leadership model we wish to adopt going forward. Once that decision is ratified, a further announcement will be made.”

Ms Manzie, who took on the role in March 2011, said she had “thoroughly enjoyed” her time with the council, but added: “The authority still has major issues to contend with, not least the growth in demand it faces in its key services to young people and older people in the context of the reducing resources available. But it has some fantastic opportunities to deliver major change.”

The current system in Barking and Dagenham is run through a cabinet and leader model, where elected councillors vote for a leader who shares responsibility with the chief executive.

The chief executive manages the day-to-day running of services, staff and the overall strategic direction of the council.

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Alternative models would allow for a directly elected mayor who runs the council with a cabinet of elected councillors, or one who works with a council manager.

Cllr Smith described Ms Manzie as a “highly visible and vigorous chief executive”.

He added: “In the meantime, I have decided to ask the senior directors of the council to provide executive leadership. I am hugely confident in the capacity of my senior officer team to provide the leadership needed going forward.”

Stella Manzie CBE, is to work with Professor Jean Hartley and Professor John Benington at Warwick University on public leadership and its development.

She has previously been chief executive at Redditch Borough Council, West Berkshire Council and Coventry City Council and a director general in the Scottish Government.