The Royal Borough  has named Russell O’Keefe its new Managing Director and head of paid services following a special meeting on Monday, November 5.

Mr O’Keefe was named the successor to Alison Alexander, who, the council announced last week, would be stepping down from the position earlier than expected.

Ms Alexander had been expected to be relieved of her duties next May following an announcement earlier this year.

However, following a meeting with leader of the council Simon Dudley last month, it was decided that she would leave the post much sooner and be placed on ‘gardening leave’.

Ms Alexander had been in the position for over five years and earlier said she believed she had led the council to achieve ‘significant improvement for the staff, members and residents’.

During the meeting, leader of the council, Simon Dudley placed on record his thanks for the work Ms Alexander had done, saying she had done “an excellent job and she was instrumental in the transformation of the council”.