Interim chief executive’s contract to be extended

Dawn Carter-McDonald

Dawn Carter-McDonald. Photograph: Hackney Council. Free for use by partners of BBC news wire service

Politicians have rubberstamped the extension of Hackney’s interim chief executive until next summer.

Hackney Council’s head of legal, democratic and electoral services, Dawn Carter-McDonald, took over the top role in July.

Carter-McDonald is Hackney’s third chief executive in a year.

The move meant her colleague Louise Humphreys became the acting director of legal, democratic and electoral services.

They have both had their contracts extended from February, to July 2024, as councillors approved the move at Wednesday’s full council meeting on 29 November.

Carter-McDonald took over the top role from Ian Williams when he left for a new job at Liverpool City Council. He had previously served as interim chief executive in 2021 when Tim Shields left after 13 years in the top job.

Finance boss Williams was promoted to interim chief executive when the incumbent Mark Carroll left this summer after an extended period of leave.

Carroll was appointed in 2021 from Essex County Council where he led the public health response to covid.

He faced another crisis after he arrived at Hackney when cyber criminals attacked the council’s IT systems, causing problems to many services.

Carroll also led the council’s response to the Child Q scandal after it emerged police strip searched a black teenager at school.

The extension to Carter-McDonald’s contract was proposed to give the council time to decide which recruitment consultant to use and because the successful applicant may have to give three months’ notice.

The recruitment process was put on hold because of the mayoral by-election earlier this month.

It followed the resignation of the previous mayor and Carter-McDonald acted as returning officer for the borough-wide election.