‘Real privilege’: Hackney Council’s chief executive to depart in August after period of extended leave

Hackney Council’s outgoing chief executive Mark Carroll. Photograph: Hackney Council

Hackney Council is on the hunt for a new chief executive – just two years after Mark Carroll took the job.

Carroll, who has been on extended leave since April to handle family matters, is to step down at the end of August after reaching a “mutual agreement” with Mayor Philip Glanville.

The executive, who was previously the public health boss at Essex County Council, said: “Hackney is an extraordinary council and place, and I have been so proud to be its chief executive.

“The mayor, the cabinet and the council are all hugely ambitious for the borough and its residents, and that ambition permeates throughout the organisation.

“It has been a real privilege to work with such passionate colleagues, and to see the difference that we make, alongside our partner and community organisations, to the lives of our residents.”

Carroll joined the council as it reeled from the double whammy of the coronavirus pandemic and a criminal cyber attack.

He said: “I am especially proud of the improvements and progress that colleagues in children’s, adults and housing Services have made during my time as chief executive and that we have stabilised and strengthened the way we work after Covid and the cyber attack.”

The former probation officer once worked at the Home Office and led a government investigation into racism following the Stephen Lawrence report.

He also led a charity working with young people and their families to co-produce community responses to crime, drugs, and gang issues.

Dawn Carter-McDonald will take over as acting chief executive in August. Photograph: Hackney Council

The council’s head of legal, democratic and electoral services Dawn Carter-McDonald will take over as interim boss, subject to confirmation by full council next week.

She became a solicitor in 1998 and her specialisms include adminsitrative and public law, education, and children.

She has worked in local government for 20 years and took up her current role in 2019.

She said: “Having been born in Hackney, the role has a very personal significance to me. I know Hackney really well and I am committed to better outcomes for all our residents.”

The council will search for a new chief executive and could receive CVs from internal and external applicants.

Carroll’s departure was announced just a day after Mayor Glanville told a scrutiny committee that he had appointed Carter-McDonald as new interim chief executive – with current incumbent Ian Williams off to pastures new this month.

Glanville told colleagues that some staff did not yet know who would be stepping up when he made the announcement at his annual appearance before councillors.

He also told the committee that there was some “uncertainty” while Carroll managed “some of those family issues”.