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A member of the controversial new housing executive has resigned due to personal reasons before the group even held their first meeting.

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David Mulcahy was elected to the panel of eight only three weeks ago but stood down before being unveiled to Islington Council on Thursday.

He said: “I felt it was in the best interests of my electorate to stand down and give someone a chance who could devote the time required.”

Mr Mulcahy was the tenant representative and the council promise a replacement will be found, but it is not clear how.

A new election could be expensive and there is no second placed candidate to promote as Mr Mulcahy was the only option voters had.

His resignation is the latest in a series of problems for the housing executive under fire for an election turnout of just 10 per cent – at a cost of some £40,000.

Critics have complained that the council hand-picked candidates, that some posts only had one candidate and that the executive will help the council to distance itself from unpopular decisions.

Cllr Barbara Sidnell, executive member for residents and communities, said: “There will be a voice for tenants on the new housing executive.

“We will meet separately with Tenant Management Organisations and will be discussing current policy issues and working with them to find a replacement. While we would consider holding a re-election for this position, we are mindful of the need to keep costs down.”

Brian Potter, chairman of the Islington Leaseholders Association, said: “If they are going to approach tenant groups now, why didn’t they do that in the first place?

“That was all we wanted. if they had come to the appropriate groups in the first place we would have all got on board, but we don’t want to be represented by hand-picked candidates. That’s a complete waste of time.”

The first meeting of the housing executive is next Tuesday at 6.30pm at the Town Hall in Upper Street.

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