Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, the Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council has announced that he intends to stand down.
Cllr Greenhalgh (pictured speaking at Place West London 2010), who has been leader since 2006, says he is standing down to focus on how to decentralise power from the town hall and central government to local neighbourhoods.
He is helping to pioneer plans for a Neighbourhood Budget for the White City Opportunity Area whichwould aim to take control of the nearly £70 million of public funds spent in this area every year. Despite this spend, unemployment is twice the borough average, the area has high levels of overcrowding, relatively low educational attainment and relatively high levels of crime.
Cllr Greenhalgh said: “I am keen to work with Whitehall and the town hall to develop a new approach to public spending at a neighbourhood level while continuing to serve the residents of Town Ward where I both live and work.”
“I do not think the people of White City are getting value for money out of that £70 million, nor do I think are wider taxpayers. I want to focus that money on getting much better outcomes for people living there and ensuring that the neighbourhood is fully involved in how that money is spent.”
Cllr Nick Botterill, Deputy Leader of H&F Council, said: “I hope many people across H&F and beyond will want to thank Stephen for his tireless dedication to this borough and to local government. Thankfully, he will still continue to play a major role through his work with the community in White City.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, said: “Stephen has been an outstanding council leader. He always understood that the role of the council was to stand shoulder to shoulder with the public. Hammersmith and Fulham is truly a council to be proud of.”