The chief executive of the Thames Gateway Delivery Unit has left her job after a year
The woman in charge of delivering Thames Gateway, the £9bn regeneration scheme at the heart of the government’s housing growth strategy, has left after a year in the job, according to senior Gateway sources.
Judith Armitt, the chief executive of the Thames Gateway Delivery Unit, is understood to have left her post. The communities department this morning refused to confirm or deny whether she had gone, as did Armitt herself.
A spokesperson for the communities department said: “We do not comment on individual members of staff and their appointments.”
The Thames Gateway Delivery Unit is overseeing plans to create 160,000 homes and 225,000 jobs in the region by 2016.
Armitt, who is a former chief executive of Medway council, was appointed to the post at Thames Gateway Forum in November last year. The news of her departure comes two weeks after prime minister Gordon Brown launched the Thames Gateway Plan, which will attract £9bn of public funds in the next three years.
Amitt had been in charge of drafting this plan. According to sources close to the process, staff were drafted in to the delivery unit to rewrite the plan after Cooper decided it was not up to scratch.
A senior Thames Gateway source said: “It has been a fiasco. Yvette is unhappy. The plans from a week ago had to be torn up.”
The source said the earlier draft had been “devoid of strategic intention”, merely listing existing government aims for the area.
Other senior Gateway figures contacted by Building echoed the view, with one saying the early draft was “crap” and was being “rewritten substantially”.
The communities department’s handling of the Thames Gateway was recently attacked by parliament’s Public Accounts Committee. Edward Leigh, the chair of the committee, said the department was “manifestly not up to the job of managing the enormously ambitious enterprise of regenerating the Thames Gateway region”.
He said action must be taken to prevent a “public spending calamity.”