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Friday, 14 May 2010

BNP failure makes chief post ‘more attractive’

The vacant chief executive’s post at Barking and Dagenham LBC should become a more attractive post following last week’s local elections, which saw the British National Party lose all of its seats in the borough, the council’s former chief has said.

Local voters opted to kick out all 12 BNP councillors in Barking and Dagenham following a hard-fought, politically fractious, election campaign, in which the local and national Labour Party targeted BNP strongholds.

Anecdotal evidence provided to The MJ - LocalGov.co.uk's sister publication - before the elections suggested potential replacements for Mr Whiteman could be discouraged by a significant BNP presence on a council representing a multi-ethnic community.

But, with Labour taking all 51 seats on the council after 6 May, the borough will now have a large degree of political direction, and officials will no doubt receive strong support to implement changes across the borough.

Rob Whiteman, who will take up his new post as chief of the Improvement and Development Agency this week, revealed his former employer delayed advertising his old post until after the town hall ballots on 6 May.

Commenting on the chief executives post this week, Mr Whiteman said: ‘We deferred advertising the position until after the election was over. The election results have returned a stable result for the next term, and there is no reason why the role would not be an attractive prospect for strong potential candidates.’

Barking and Dagenham LBC is recruiting a group manager of community cohesion.

local gov