Lewisham Council will appoint its first female chief executive this month, who will start a year after Ian Thomas’ controversial departure.

Kim Wright, a former director at Hackney Council, has been recommended for appointment as Lewisham Council’s new chief and will start in October.

The authority’s executive director for resources and regeneration, Janet Senior, has acted as the interim chief executive since November.

Mayor Damien Egan said: “I am delighted that Kim will be joining us and helping us to deliver our manifesto for change in the borough.

“I’m particularly proud that we have appointed our first permanent female chief executive.

“Kim has significant experience of strategically leading high quality services, including the delivery of one of the country’s largest council house building programmes,” he added.

Ms Wright spent 11 years as the director of adult social care  at Hackney Council, where she oversaw the building of 2,000 council homes, according to a Lewisham Council statement.

“She also has significant experience of transforming services for residents and involving communities in change including in housing services, public health and all the services that make for liveable neighbourhoods such as planning, parks, libraries, community safety, regeneration, transport and environmental operations,” the statement continued.

Ms Wright said: “I am proud to be joining Lewisham at this time, and look forward to bringing my experience here to help deliver the borough’s vision for change and to working with the Mayor and councillors, alongside staff, local communities and partners, to make a real difference to local people’s lives.”

The interview process included three panels of interviewers from the community, business and elected councillors, as well as a final interview with councillors.

She will be officially appointed on July 24.

This follows the ousting of former chief executive, Ian Thomas, who left last October with a six-figure pay off after only seven months in the post.

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

Mr Thomas got his £185,000 pay-off months before the government announced plans to cap huge exit payments.