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Tower Hamlets chief’s £300,000 payoff goes to Ombudsman

PUBLISHED: 13:01 07 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:40 05 October 2010

THE row over the pay-off to Town Hall chief Martin Smith in London’s East End is going to the Ombudsman. Opposition councillors at Tower Hamlets are lodging a formal complaint over the way the ruling Labour group has thrown out suggestions to put the appointment of a new chief executive on hold’ until after next year’s local council elections

By Else Kvist

THE row over the pay-off to Town Hall chief Martin Smith in London’s East End is going to the Ombudsman.

Furious Opposition councillors at Tower Hamlets are lodging a formal complaint over the way the ruling Labour group has thrown out suggestions to put the appointment of a new chief executive on hold’ until after next year’s local council elections.

Tory deputy leader Tim Archer led a bid including six rebel’ Labour councillors and Lib Dems on the authority’s Scrutiny committee to send the decision and the approval of Mr Smith’s £300,000 pay-off’ deal back to the cabinet.

REJECTED

“There was no proper discussion and no show of hands before the call in’ was rejected out of hand,” said Cllr Archer.

“The whole thing took less than seven minutes, including handing out the papers and time for members to read them.”

But Labour deputy leader Josh Peck accused Archer of “playing political games” which would leave Tower Hamlets without a permanent chief executive until the next election “when he hopes to be in power.”

Children’s services director Kevan Collins is acting as interim chief executive until a permanent appointment is made.

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