Colourful Bundred appointed as head of IDA

14 Nov 02
The Improvement and Development Agency has appointed the colourful and often controversial chief executive of Camden, Steve Bundred, as its new executive director.

15 November 2002

The appointment, announced on November 12, follows the shock resignation of IDA founder Mel Usher earlier this year due to health problems.

Bundred is a well-regarded, if controversial, figure in local government. As chief executive of Camden since 1995 he is acknowledged as helping to turn the authority from one of the worst to one of the best in the country.

Camden now has more Beacon services than any other authority and is expected to be among the top performers in the Comprehensive Performance Assessments out next month.

Far from being a 'safe' appointment, Bundred has a colourful political past. As a former member of the Greater London Council in the 1980s he was a key ally of Ken Livingstone. He was also shortlisted in 2000 for the post of chief executive of the Greater London Authority.

His stance advocating the decriminalisation of heroin has raised eyebrows, while he was among a number of prominent public sector figures earlier this year who accused Tony Blair of undermining frontline workers.

'With the CPA results about to be announced and the whole debate about public service improvement high on the political agenda, it really is an exciting time to be joining the IDA,' he said.

Sir Brian Briscoe, chief executive of the Local Government Association, said Bundred would be a great asset to the IDA.

No date has yet been fixed for Bundred's move to the agency.


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