A few days ago, Surrey Live – the on-line local newspaper – mentioned for the second time the saga of the council Chief Executive’s ‘pay rise’.
We all know the background by now, of course.. But what continues to irk the Eye is the lack of any statement by the CEO or the current Leader about their involvement in the story.. We presume that their silence means ‘guilty’ – and we assume that prolonged silence means ‘very guilty’.
Anyway, the text of the Surrey Live article doesn’t help their case very much. Read the end of this extract:
“The pay increase was approved by the former leader of the borough who has since retired. In a letter sent to all staff and councillors on Friday (August 16), current council leader Richard Brooks urged councillors to treat her with the “same fair processes” as she does her own staff, adding: “I know over the last few weeks Karen has endured a large amount of public reaction because of her position. I hope everyone will recognise their responsibility to all our employees, including Karen, who has no right of public reply.”
“The council did not want to add any further comment.”
We reckon the ‘no right of public reply’ is a fiction. And, anyway, it’s not the same thing as being banned from speaking. But even when invited to comment, the council stayed silent. Why?
The suspicious behaviour of the main participants – the current Leader and the CEO – has brought the council – the honest councillors and the hardworking staff – into such disrepute that they should both do the decent thing and stand down.