Lewisham Council is recruiting for a new chief executive as part of its “new direction” – nearly seven months after Ian Thomas left the post.

Lewisham Council announced Mr Thomas was leaving the £180,000 role last October, with his last day on December 31.

In a statement, Lewisham announced it would take a “take a new direction” but did not clarify what the direction was.

Mr Thomas began as the council’s chief executive in March 2018 after he was  appointed by a panel which included Mayor Damien Egan and members of his cabinet.

It is understood mayor Damien Egan, who was elected last May, found it difficult to work with Mr Thomas.

Mr Thomas’ departure caused outrage in the community and prompted a 2,000 signature petition calling for more information as to why he left.

The recruitment is expected to cost around £30,000.

The job posting calls for an “exceptional leader” to help bring about the council’s “new vision”.

“We have a new vision. We will ensure that every resident has the opportunity to live their best life, and have agreed on practical, deliverable policies for the next four years through our new Corporate Strategy.

“Someone who is committed and capable of delivering against our corporate priorities to secure the best possible outcomes for our diverse communities. Just as important, are the personal qualities our new Chief Executive will bring.

“We are looking for a team player whose natural style is to listen, involve, and collaborate with others to achieve exceptional results,” it explains.

“We are proud of our tradition in Lewisham of putting our people first. Our vibrant inner-London borough is built on a foundation of fairness, equality and putting our community at the heart of everything we do.”

Figures obtained by the Lewisham Lib Dems via a freedom of information request show the council spent £32,954 recruiting Mr Thomas.

The executive director for resources and regeneration, Janet Senior, has stepped up in to the post until it has been filled.

Mr Thomas is now the chief executive of Kingston Council.

The closing date for applications is June 3.