THE council has insisted services will not be affected by the departure of four experienced senior officers within weeks of each other.

It has emerged that the authority's director of Governance and Law, Terry Osborne, is quitting and chief finance officer, John Raisin, has already left his post.

The news comes after it was revealed that the deputy director of children and young people's services, Linda Cointepas, had left "by mutual consent" following a damning Ofsted report of her department.

Its executive director Chris Kiernan will also retire at the end of August.

A council spokesman said that Ms Osborne is leaving for another job and that a permanent replacement will be in place by the time she leaves.

He added that John Raisin worked on an interim basis. A permanent replacement will be taking up his role later this month.

He denied rumours that another senior officer had also left.

The council's cabinet member for corporate resources, business and employment, Cllr Afzal Akram, said: “There’s always going to be flux and change when it comes to staffing any large organisation, and Waltham Forest Council is no exception.

"Indeed, as part of our ongoing work to save more than £65million we began by streamlining our approach to senior management, reducing the number of posts and making savings of £1.1million.

“We can assure both the paper and our residents that departments will be effectively staffed and no service will be left wanting while replacements are found or roles are consolidated.”

In a leaving message to staff, Mr Kiernan thanked colleagues for their support.

He said: "It has been a pleasure to have worked with all of you - in the case of many, for the whole of the seven years I have worked for the council."

He added: "I was advised before I took up [the] post that my long experience as an officer employed by Newham council - which is predominantly Labour - would not equip me for the challenges of a joint administration with strong opposition.

"While this was, to an extent, true, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive, and led me to appreciate more than ever the importance and value of democratic debate.

"I have been treated with both courtesy and respect by all members. I hope that I have offered the same in return to them."

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