Monday, 21 October 2013

Council Chief Executives, Serial Job Changers

In any other walk of life when recruiting staff would you consider a serial job changer?

The answer I think is properly no, you want staff to be loyal, grow into the company, see their decisions come to fruition, especially with a Chief Executive you would want them to plan for the long term and be there when those plans need updating, refining. You need stability at the top a clear vision, not constant change, reorganisation, new thinking.

Then why is it that in the world of Council Chief Executives does it appear to be full of serial job changers? People who inside 18 months to two years feel the need to move on? 

Council Chief Executives, should be non-political, the constant that the staff of the council look to as political control of the council changes, but even that political control is unlikely to change inside of four years between elections. 

Politics can move at quite a pace at times, but the underling infrastructure does not and many plans evolve and develop over quite substantial time periods i.e. Cornwall Local Plan, 2/3 years and still ongoing.

I know very little of the likely new chief executive of Cornwall Council other then the fact that he has been in his current job with Cardiff City Council for less than 18 months and the same in his previous job. Some decisions he made at both these previous jobs are most likely still to run there course.

The fact that he also received a big payout (£144.000) on leaving his previous post, I also find not only wrong but also indefensible. If this is considered the norm for these posts, then it’s time this is challenged, no payments for leaving the job inside, what 5 years, and a sliding scale for repayment of relocation expenses.

The costs in this constant churning of Chief Executives is very high for local councils and really must be brought to an end.   

Much has been made of his salary, but I fancy it is these add-ons that we need to know about, the relocation expenses, the payout should he leave, expenses etc. 


Well here we are Nov 2015 and true to form he's gone, on to pastures new. I wrote in the post above that 'I knew very little about the new chief executive' and less than two years latter I still know nothing about him. This time I know even less about the new chief exec other than this time it's a female from the home counties, I did read her name somewhere, Kate something I think, but it hardly seems worth the effort of finding out. I will update this again in what 18 months at the most I suspect.


  1. Fear not Dennis, Andrew’s settling in nicely; already ordered his tax-payer funded Iphone 4 and Ipad, despite the fact all these devices can do is get email and nothing more because our network isn’t designed for them. Of course, he could’ve bought his own Iphone and Ipad and gotten exactly the same functionality, but, well, sod that, in these times of austerity why pay for it yourself when you can get it for free?

    1. Kerr doesn’t beat Porsche-driving Crich though, who seems to order a new smart phone through the council every other week.
      Might I suggest the online budget simulator is altered to allow the removal of non-essential toys?