Town Hall boss who got Tower Hamlets through Lutfur Rahman crisis era has quit tonight
PUBLISHED: 18:49 30 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:29 01 July 2016
The man who steered Tower Hamlets council through its turbulent years under disgraced mayor Lutfur Rahman has quit the once-controversial local authority in east London.
Corporate director Stephen Halsey, in charge of running its Communities and Culture services, stepped down today as part of a restructuring of the authority, his place being taken over temporarily by the Town Hall’s chief executive.
“I am leaving the council by mutual agreement and under amicable circumstances,” he said. “I have considered the council’s need to restructure its senior management team.”
He then thanked the staff he had worked with over the past nine years for their “commitment, support and achievements”.
His departure was agreed by the council’s General Purposes committee which met last night in private session on the seventh floor of the Town Hall.
A major restructuring of the council’s senior management is underway following the downfall of the Rahman administration which led to government commissioners setting up shop in the town hall to manage council spending.
Details are being revealed in the autumn, following a complete of a review of the council’s senior management by Chief Executive Will Tuckley, who is taking up Mr Halsey’s duties the meantime.
Mr Tuckley said: “Steve has worked hard on the council’s priorities and I’m grateful for the contribution has made over the years and since my arrival here last year.”
Stephen Halsey, who joined the council in 2007, took the helm in stormy waters as the council’s interim Head of Paid Service in July, 2012, amid the crisis when Mayor Rahman locked horns with the majority Labour Party by refusing to fill the vacant chief executive post from the legal selection process after two years.
He kept things running beyond Rahman’s downfall—who was sacked as mayor by the High Court in April last year for election fraud and malpractice in public office—right through the transitional period after new mayor John Biggs took over.