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Council boss says going undercover was 'golden opportunity' for Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 16:22 19 July 2010 | UPDATED: 16:15 05 October 2010

Kevan Collins was in disguise as a market inspector

Kevan Collins was in disguise as a market inspector

THE boss of Tower Hamlets council said his time undercover for a television programme will help him in deciding how to make necessary cuts in the borough. Chief Executive Kevan Collins left his cosy office at the Town Hall for a week and worked in disgu

THE boss of Tower Hamlets council said his time undercover for a television programme will help him in deciding how to make necessary cuts in the borough.

Chief Executive Kevan Collins left his cosy office at the Town Hall for a week and worked in disguise alongside frontline members of staff who had no idea who he was, as part of the Channel 4 series Undercover Boss.

Over two weeks, he worked as a trainee pest control officer, a market inspector, Meals on Wheels provider, an enforcement officer and at the reception of the Housing and Homelessness Service.

Dr Collins told the Advertiser it was a "golden opportunity" for him, the staff and the borough as a whole as it showed Tower Hamlets in a positive light to the rest of the country.

And it left him with a "deep abiding appreciation for the staff's dedication."

The programme was filmed in February but now the council is preparing to make £50m of savings over the next three years.

He said: "My job is to offer advice to members of the council about possible savings and I am hoping this will improve my advice in the way it has given me a better understanding of what we do in the borough.

"It made me see how we should link more services to improve efficiency and it made me more determined to look at the cuts as a way of helping rather than reducing the services to the most vulnerable as these are the services that are essential."

The episode will be televised on Thursday at 9pm

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