Chief Executive’s ‘pay rise’; how long will the news blackout last?

It’s now four months since we first discussed the public disquiet over the council Chief Executive’s ‘pay rise’.  It’s about three months since the terms of reference for an independent enquiry into the saga were published.

Now, realistically, it should only take a few days, at most, for an investigator to find out what happened.  Allow them a preliminary week to plan how they’ll tackle the task and read the relevant background paperwork, and a week or so afterwards to write their report in a tactful ‘no-one’s to blame’, ‘lessons have been learned’ style, and the whole job could have been completed in under a month.

So, why is it taking so long?  Well, a cynic might say that the council is waiting to bury bad news.  Is it waiting for the election results to fill the headlines?  Or perhaps waiting until everyone is more interested in Christmas activities?  Who knows.  Of course, this would be accusing the council of disgracefully-low standards.  But hasn’t the council behaved pretty badly already, by keeping local tax-payers in the dark?  Why expect it to show higher standards now?

26 thoughts on “Chief Executive’s ‘pay rise’; how long will the news blackout last?

  1. Surely you are not insinuating that the Tory run council is shovelling their dirty linen under the carpet until after their general election. Would that not be true to form given that Michael Gove admitted just 2 days after the BREXIT result that the bus with £350M extra to the NHS EVERY WEEK in big letters down the side was a complete lie? Here we are and no extra money to the NHS and a divided country or group of thoroughly pissed off countries. I’m only guessing but there will be nothing happening that could cause bad publicity until after the GE and that after that Karen Whelan will be duly sacrificed by the Tories once they have got their devious way? And then they will increase council taxes and anything else then can do to raise revenue and work very very hard at reducing council tax payers services whilst all the time telling you that they are doing such a fantastic job?

  2. No response/answer/action etc from the Council is no surprise to me …. it is endemic through whole sections of SHBC …. their standard operating procedure! The Public is treated like mushrooms …. kept in the dark and fed on shit.

    Over two years ago I asked our MP to look into SHBC as I believed that they were failing to serve the ‘Public Interest’ in his constituency …… just an acknowledgement (automatic) in response.

    At least our MP ‘acknowledged’ my email …. our Councillors (Town) do not even do that!!

  3. I too have been wondering what could possibly be taking so long and agree that the only possible reason the independent enquiry hasn’t been concluded and it’s findings published is that it’s not helpful to the Tories. I hope you will all be at the Hustings on Friday 6th at St Paul’s Church to let Mr Gove know we are watching and we’re not impressed.

    • The problem, Helene, in a way, is not whether the findings are unhelpful to the Tories, but the fact that we might suspect – rightly or wrongly – that this is the case. It harms the council’s reputation even further.

  4. This whole saga is shocking and depressing. Let’s hope it does not take 6 YEARS as in the case of the former chief executive of Caerphilly council…yes he was on special leave on full pay for 6 years! The cost to the taxpayers was estimated to be between £4 million and £6 million.

      • I’m reluctant to use the word ‘corrupt’ for most of the councillors who, I’m sure, are doing their honest best. Statistically, one or two may have private agendas, but that’s life. The real problem is that, once politicians of almost any persuasion get together, they become more interested in internal issues, and they become somewhat distracted from life outside the council building.

      • I have no knowledge as to Karen Whelans political affiliations but the Conservatives have had a majority on SHBC for as long as I can remember and have done just as they’ve liked without challenge, until now.

      • As a council officer, in post she has to be politically-neutral. But I agree totally with your observations that the ruling party has been in power too long. (The fact that it’s the Tory party is probably academic – I think that it’s bad for any party to dominate an authority.)

  5. Liberals next election, with any luck, don’t really hold with all their manifesto, but SHBC desperatley requires radical change from the strangle hold they have on the community, or do away with local council and just have an amalgamation with SCC and reduce the totally excessive wage bill and local rates !! Bil like Christchurch, Bournemouth and pool. The second coming will happen before we get any sense from this tory led fiasco.

      • They have done absolutely nothing. I could not even tell you their names. A neighbour of mind emailed them recently and did not get a response from any of them. They don’t need to deliver on grand promises, they just need to be more visible. All three of them have turned out to be huge disappointments. Thankfully we have an excellent County Councillor. The only thing that goes against him is that he is a conservative but he would get my vote every time.

  6. When will politicians ever learn to not promise anything? They should just give a list of things that they would like to do if they get into power. We all know that the more that they promise the less they will deliver, so we never believe anything that they say.

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