Chief Executive’s ‘pay rise’ – full council meeting 04/09/19

We attended the full council meeting that was held last night to approve the investigation into the chief executive’s pay rise.  The agenda was as previously published, the meeting lasted ten minutes, the voting was unanimously in favour of the recommendations, and it was agreed that the investigation’s terms of reference should be made public.  They have already been placed on the council’s website –  https://bit.ly/2kuLapo (Sorry, Facebook readers, you might not see this link yet)

Few comments were made from ‘the floor’.  Most notable was Cllr Bates’ contribution, when he said that at the current time there was no suggestion that anyone was guilty of anything –  but that it was important to discover the facts.  Secondly, that there was a duty of care to staff and councillors.  He added that the council shouldn’t be diverted from its other important activities.

We agree with these words.  But we can’t help feeling that, on the basis of what information has been made available (and what has NOT been made available) so far, a jury would reach a ‘guilty’ verdict.  And we also think that it’s important that a duty of care is observed, and that all due processes followed.  Not only out of human decency but because any claim of unfair dismissal would be most unfortunate.

We’ve not been able to study the terms of reference in any depth yet.  But our initial reaction is quite favourable.  We don’t like the mention near the end of ‘eg the Exceptional Payments Policy’ as that might bias the answer, but so far that doesn’t concern us too much.

12 thoughts on “Chief Executive’s ‘pay rise’ – full council meeting 04/09/19

  1. I thought the meeting was reasonably well attended in terms of the public. I wonder if the motion would have received unanimous approval (or even seen the light of day) had the make up of the council not changed so significantly in May?

    • It coulc have gone either way, Shirley. Probably a quick non-contentious meeting, as was the case, or a rather ill-tempered discussion as a reaction to the ‘mud-slinging’ between parties that had gone on a few days previously

  2. I think it is good that the Exceptional Payments Policy is mentioned as this is the policy under which Additional Duties Allowances are paid. The policy sets a max of 5% increase and states such payments are short term temporary payments. The payment to the CEO certainly breaches these two conditions. It will be interesting to see what the investigator makes of it all.

    • Thanks, Graham. I wasn’t familiar with the policy when I expressed some reservations about it being mentioned. It is a bit of a leading suggestion within the ToR, which makes me uncomfortable on principle, but the info you’ve provided makes me more relaxed.

  3. I was there and surprised (and pleased) that it was announced that the Terms of Reference for the Investigation would be made public, and are available on the Council website. I am still not convinced that the decision to appoint the acting Deputy Chief Executive to oversee the investigation into his immediate superior is entirely satisfactory particularly as he, as I understand it, is also in receipt of an “additional duties” payment.

    • He certainly has had an Additional Duties Allowance – awarded by his boss, the CEO – but I don’t know if and when that ceased. I’m not sure whether how this will be perceived was properly taken into account before his appointment.

      • That is my position too. In order to not only carry out this investigation properly, credibly and convincingly it must be seen to meet those standards. The involvement of the acting Deputy CEO in this is bound to raise question, no matter how honourable and honest he maybe.

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