Southwark council’s housing chief resigns

The head of Southwark council’s housing department has announced his is resigning from the role, weeks after he revealed the council’s housing target would not be met.

Michael Scorer, Southwark’s strategic director of housing, has announced he will be leaving the role this autumn after more than five and a half years at the town hall.

He leaves a council that has been beset by complaints over the quality of housing, with the third highest number of complaints for any council in the country.

He also admitted at a Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee at the end of June that the council only had funding for around 3,200 homes – nearly 7,000 under Labour-led council’s promise.

Mr Scorer said family health issues, including the death of his father, had contributed to his decision to leave the post.

The housing chief said: “I have been privileged to have worked with many incredible colleagues, councillors and residents.

“As London’s biggest social landlord, the pressures and demands that fall on Southwark are immense, especially as we work tirelessly to ensure our residents are safe, and that the lessons from Grenfell are truly learned.

“I have been thinking about reducing my working week for a while and, following a year with lots of family health issues including the death of my father, my priorities have shifted.

“The job of strategic director for housing is not one that can be successfully done part-time. And I certainly wouldn’t want to do it without being able to give 100 per cent for residents all of the time.

In response to the resignation Mr Scorer, Southwark Liberal Democrat leader councillor Victor Chamberlain said: “First and foremost, we would like to thank Michael Scorer for his dedication to Southwark council over the past five years.

“We must not lose site that this Labour administration is failing on housing. The council is third worst in the UK for housing complaints, has been found at serious fault by the Ombudsman on far too many occasions and it’s not building the affordable homes we desperately need.”

Southwark council’s chief executive, Althea Loderick, said: “I want to thank Michael for his years of service, supporting Southwark’s tenants and leaseholders through some challenging times with his trademark kindness and compassion.

“Michael has worked hard to deliver the council’s vision for housing as set out in our council delivery plan, including our flagship programme to build thousands of brand new council homes, and our estate improvement work in collaboration with residents on the Tustin and Ledbury.”

Mr Scorer’s last day will be on September 30. The council confirmed recruitment for his replacement would begin shortly.

Pictured top: Michael Scorer at a Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee in June (Picture: Parliament TV)

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