Working for Wiltshire - All Year Round
Published on Thursday 8th September 2011
The Conservative Administration has announced it would cut the pay bill for senior staff at the Council, finally giving in to a long campaign from the Wiltshire Liberal Democrats. However, whilst savings are to be welcomed, local Lib Dems have questioned the detail of the cuts, which would apparently leave the Council leaderless.
Lib Dem Group Leader Jon Hubbard (Melksham South) welcomed the move “The Conservative administration are finally listening to the Lib Dems about the excess of taxpayers money spent on senior executives at Wiltshire Council.”
“I have, in principle and without yet having seen the detail of their proposals, no serious problems with reducing the senior management team down from five to three, although I do not accept the principle that we do not need a Chief Executive. There is a legal requirement for the council to have a 'Head of Paid Service', a role usually assumed by the Chief Exec, and it seems to me that to have an organisation that turns over nearly £1billion a year without someone in overall operational charge is insane.”
Jon Hubbard questioned the lack of long term strategy from the Conservative Administration “Why did the Conservatives appoint Mr Kerr just 20 months ago on a permanent contract and then look to make him redundant today? This smacks of very poor strategic planning. Had he been employed on a fixed term interim contract then the exposure to the taxpayers of Wiltshire in terms of redundancy payments would be significantly reduced. Getting rid of Andrew Kerr in this way will be a very expensive exercise.”
“When they appointed Mr Kerr in January 2010 the Conservatives were either negligent or incompetent. They either appointed someone on a permanent contract for a short-tem post, or have now created such a financial crisis in County Hall that they have to make senior staff redundant just to pay the bills. Where is the strategic leadership for Wiltshire long promised by the Conservative Administration?