A TROUBLESHOOTER with a reputation for uncovering waste and mismanagement will be the temporary chief executive of Hounslow Council.
Michael Frater, who discovered a culture of 'blame, bullying and self-obsession' when he took over at Surrey County Council last year, replaces Mark Gilks as the man at the head of the Civic Centre.
A council spokeswoman this week confirmed he had been chosen by the members' panel as 'interim chief executive' but his appointment has yet to be approved by the executive and borough council, which is due to meet at the end of next month.
Mr Frater was brought in by Surrey County Council in January 2009 after the Tory-run authority received a one-star rating, down from three, in the old-style Community Performance Assessment (CPA).
After six months in charge, he produced a damning report, accusing the council of a 'fundamental failure of leadership, culture and governance'.
Although Hounslow is another Tory-led council, it is in a very different situation to the one in which Surrey found itself when Mr Frater took over the reins.
Hounslow was rated three out of four for 'managing performance', and judged to be 'performing well', in the Audit Commission's new Comprehensive Area Assessment last December.
Mr Frater has a good track record of turning round under-performing authorities, having been previously appointed as interim chief executive at Walsall to address concerns about the way the local authority was being run.
He has also held the top job at Redbridge, Telford & Wrekin Council, in the Midlands, and most recently Nottingham. In 2004 he was made a CBE for services to local government.