Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thurrock and Barking & Dagenham appoint joint head of legal services

FOLLOWING the appointment of Graham Farrant as joint Chief Executive of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham and Thurrock Council, the two authorities have now announced the appointment of Fiona Taylor as joint Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

Fiona will replace Tasnim Shawkat, the first joint head of legal for the two boroughs, who is leaving the post to take up a new role as Director of Legal Services in another joint arrangement with Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea.

Fiona was formerly the Group Manager for Legal Services at Barking and Dagenham. She was appointed following a competitive process by a Member panel made up of councillors from both authorities. Her formal appointment to the role is expected at the two councils’ respective Council / Assembly meetings on 26 September and 10 October.

Graham Farrant said: “I am delighted that we have been able to appoint someone of such obvious calibre and ability to this critical role. I very much look forward to working alongside Fiona and other senior colleagues as we begin the process of reviewing what other services can be shared between the two authorities.”

Fiona Taylor will start on 1 October. She comments: “I am obviously thrilled to have been appointed to this role and am looking forward to building on the success of Tasnim Shawkat, as well as the wider team who have worked so hard join up Thurrock and Barking & Dagenham Legal Services.”

Within the service, David Lawson remains Deputy Head of Legal & Democratic Services for both boroughs and Eldred Taylor-Camara continues in his role as Group Manager, focussing on commercial relationships – namely Barking and Dagenham’s commercial partner Elevate and Thurrock’s partnership with Serco.

Graham Farrant concludes: “This new appointment will hopefully be one of the first of a number of joint roles as Barking & Dagenham and Thurrock move towards shared services where it is appropriate to do so.

“Not only will this help save costs and drive efficiencies at a time of unprecedented financial challenge, but we anticipate real improvements in service delivery thanks to what will become a relentless focus on the front-line in both authorities.”


  1. I thought the same thing Lambo. I’d rather us go back under County Council control rather than join Greater London


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