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London Borough of Redbridge appoint new Chief Executive

Claire Symonds has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the London Borough of Redbridge, subject to council ratification.

Currently the acting Chief Executive of Barking and Dagenham Council and with more than 30 years of experience in local government, Ms Symonds grew up, went to school and started her career in Redbridge.

She joined Barking and Dagenham in 2015 as Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, from March 2020 to March 2021, she was the authority’s acting Chief Executive and was reappointed to this position again at the start of the year.

From 2013 to 2015, Ms Symonds worked for the London Borough of Barnet, and prior to this was employed by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets from 2005 to 2013.

Commenting, Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal said:

“Claire will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the role, her strong ties to our borough complement her impressive skillset and I am looking forward to working with her to continue to deliver for our neighbours across Redbridge.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell added:

“Claire has been hugely loyal to Barking and Dagenham and she’s been a massive part of the council’s transformation and in helping to lay foundations for our next phase.

“During the pandemic, Claire was instrumental in keeping our organisation going through some of the most challenging times, keeping our staff engaged and motivated.

“That’s one of the reasons she was awarded the Freedom of the Borough last April, the highest award that can be bestowed in Barking and Dagenham to people who have made an outstanding contribution to the borough.

“I know the organisation will miss her hugely and we wish her all the best at Redbridge.”

Ms Symonds will take up her role at the end of May and will replace interim Chief Executive, Lesley Seary, who joined the authority in April last year.

Fiona Taylor will step up as acting Chief Executive at Barking and Dagenham Council.

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