Bid for County Hall to 'go without' a chief executive is thrown out

Malvern Gazette: Trish Haines, the current county council chief executive Trish Haines, the current county council chief executive

CALLS for Worcestershire County Council to go without a chief executive once Trish Haines retires have been thrown out – despite 23 politicians backing it.

During a crunch vote at County Hall the entire Labour group, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and several independents all backed a bid for the authority to employ nobody at all from the spring.

In the end, 27 councillors from the controlling Conservative group had to team up to reject the motion, saying it would be “ludicrous” to agree to it.

Mrs Haines, who earns £176,000 a year, is retiring by May and adverts are currently out searching for a replacement, who will be paid £151,000 rising to £170,000 by 2017.

The opposition parties said due to unprecedented cuts at County Hall, with £98 million due to be slashed off budgets by 2017, they should leave the role unfilled.

Instead, the current chief executive responsibilities could be shared among the directors, given to leader Councillor Adrian Hardman, or handed to one director rewarded with a promotion.

It was laughed out by the Tories, who said the request could cause chaos and leave staff clueless about who was really in charge.

Coun Hardman said: “The reason I do think we need a chief executive more than ever is because we do live in extraordinary times, and that requires someone strong to be in charge.

“We did consider sharing a chief executive with another council but quickly discounted it because there was nobody we could see fitting in easily, and we also looked at the ‘great leader’ model, but I decided against that one as I suspect I haven’t the judgement or patience to pull it off.

“I struggle to think of any great organisations or companies who operate without a chief executive.”

Councillor Marcus Hart, the cabinet member for health and well being, said: “We need someone at the helm of an organisation which spends £300 million of public money on services in our county, the idea we could run without one is nonsensical.

“Do we have schools without head teachers, operations in hospitals with no surgeons, planes with no pilots? If you follow the logic through, where does it end?”

Councillor Tom Wells, from the Liberal Democrat group, said: “I wouldn’t normally propose something like this but we live in extraordinary times and are imposing draconian cuts on the most vulnerable members of society.”

Labour supported his bid to leave the role vacant and review it periodically, which was backed by all the opposition councillors, but it was defeated by just four votes.

Comments (25)

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7:37pm Fri 17 Jan 14

3thinker says...

There's a much easier way of making an even bigger saving.

Reduce the number of councillors and abolish the £10k discretionary fund all 57 currently have to spend as they see fit.

At least £570,000 plus wasted officer time in implementing their personal attempts to buy local votes.

But there again turkey's don't vote for Christmas, do they.
There's a much easier way of making an even bigger saving. Reduce the number of councillors and abolish the £10k discretionary fund all 57 currently have to spend as they see fit. At least £570,000 plus wasted officer time in implementing their personal attempts to buy local votes. But there again turkey's don't vote for Christmas, do they. 3thinker

8:04pm Fri 17 Jan 14

dibble dibble says...

Have you tried parking at the country side centre recently? it is full of social workers from county hall trying to park I'll go elsewhere to avoid it from now - it's shame for the cafe if others are doing the same.

But you've got to feel sorry for the social workers who need to see people at home, especially when they get shouted at for parking in the countryside centre (as I saw the other day). The poor girl was apologising to the dog walker, saying the council doesn't let her park at county hall, but she has to see her clients at their houses No wonder they are leaving their jobs, it must be bad enough worrying about all the abuse of kids, parking arguments must be the last straw.

How about we save money by giving them what they need for their jobs without wasting their precious time?
Have you tried parking at the country side centre recently? it is full of social workers from county hall trying to park I'll go elsewhere to avoid it from now - it's shame for the cafe if others are doing the same. But you've got to feel sorry for the social workers who need to see people at home, especially when they get shouted at for parking in the countryside centre (as I saw the other day). The poor girl was apologising to the dog walker, saying the council doesn't let her park at county hall, but she has to see her clients at their houses No wonder they are leaving their jobs, it must be bad enough worrying about all the abuse of kids, parking arguments must be the last straw. How about we save money by giving them what they need for their jobs without wasting their precious time? dibble dibble

8:11pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Peter WR5 says...

The suggestion to dispense with the services of a chief executive, in itself, was staggeringly foolish. Then to suggest that the CEO’s duties be distributed amongst the elected councillors tells the real truth that they have not the first understanding of good corporate governance. I am deeply saddened because my natural political inclination is not towards the Tories and I despair of the general standard of political leadership in this county. A sound CEO will provide leadership and judgement and could already have the management experience to implement the budget.

I return to what I have posted several times before: create a unitary authority for Worcestershire and obtain the economies of scale and political clout that would go with that. But, as 3thinker has posted, ‘… turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.’
The suggestion to dispense with the services of a chief executive, in itself, was staggeringly foolish. Then to suggest that the CEO’s duties be distributed amongst the elected councillors tells the real truth that they have not the first understanding of good corporate governance. I am deeply saddened because my natural political inclination is not towards the Tories and I despair of the general standard of political leadership in this county. A sound CEO will provide leadership and judgement and could already have the management experience to implement the budget. I return to what I have posted several times before: create a unitary authority for Worcestershire and obtain the economies of scale and political clout that would go with that. But, as 3thinker has posted, ‘… turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.’ Peter WR5

8:36pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Keith B says...

The truth is that there is no need to cut services ... the Council can be funded quite easily if the will of the people is there.

Simply double the Council Tax. There would have to be a referendum (on any rise over 5%) and more than 50% of those who vote would need to back it .... but if it's what the people want, so be it. And we can keep all our services. Because Central Government will keep cutting until they don't subsidise Councils any more, it is the only option .... eventually.

But when it is rejected ... as it most certainly will as Turkey's (in the form of the ratepayers) really don't vote for Christmas ... then nobody can complain when services from schools to social services are cut to the bone and beyond. Our roads will become grassy tracks, no busses will be subsidised, old people will have to fend for themselves without carers, school books will never be renewed, teachers can have as many training days as they want (without pay, indeed fined for taking unauthorised holidays), we'll have to stop heating public buildings (including schools), shut all the libraries and museums - oh yes, and cut out Councillors allowances and discretionary funds. We could cut the idiot who keeps putting up traffic lights and turn all the traffic lights off and just ask drivers to be a bit careful at junctions. Fire cover could be cut too and just let any fires burn out naturally (even if they spread to other properties). We could sell off County Hall to a Hi Tec Company who will create jobs and revenue and the few staff who remain at the County Council can work out of one of the closed down schools. Cut out all consultants too. No need for a high pay Chief Exec, because they'd only have a few staff to supervise. Just promote one of the better clerical officers - might as well because it's how they fill vacancies at the moment, just asking a junior officer to take over the duties of the departed person without any extra pay or promotion.

And these columns would be almost empty because nobody could legitimately complain because it would have been the choice of the electorate.
The truth is that there is no need to cut services ... the Council can be funded quite easily if the will of the people is there. Simply double the Council Tax. There would have to be a referendum (on any rise over 5%) and more than 50% of those who vote would need to back it .... but if it's what the people want, so be it. And we can keep all our services. Because Central Government will keep cutting until they don't subsidise Councils any more, it is the only option .... eventually. But when it is rejected ... as it most certainly will as Turkey's (in the form of the ratepayers) really don't vote for Christmas ... then nobody can complain when services from schools to social services are cut to the bone and beyond. Our roads will become grassy tracks, no busses will be subsidised, old people will have to fend for themselves without carers, school books will never be renewed, teachers can have as many training days as they want (without pay, indeed fined for taking unauthorised holidays), we'll have to stop heating public buildings (including schools), shut all the libraries and museums - oh yes, and cut out Councillors allowances and discretionary funds. We could cut the idiot who keeps putting up traffic lights and turn all the traffic lights off and just ask drivers to be a bit careful at junctions. Fire cover could be cut too and just let any fires burn out naturally (even if they spread to other properties). We could sell off County Hall to a Hi Tec Company who will create jobs and revenue and the few staff who remain at the County Council can work out of one of the closed down schools. Cut out all consultants too. No need for a high pay Chief Exec, because they'd only have a few staff to supervise. Just promote one of the better clerical officers - might as well because it's how they fill vacancies at the moment, just asking a junior officer to take over the duties of the departed person without any extra pay or promotion. And these columns would be almost empty because nobody could legitimately complain because it would have been the choice of the electorate. Keith B

8:54pm Fri 17 Jan 14

skychip says...

In reply to dibble dibble it is time the County Council realised that it is not in anyone's interest to have to drive around the area looking for a parking space - they should have provided some space for the extra 800 staff recently moved into County Hall. I feel sorry for the staff who have the daily problem.
In reply to dibble dibble it is time the County Council realised that it is not in anyone's interest to have to drive around the area looking for a parking space - they should have provided some space for the extra 800 staff recently moved into County Hall. I feel sorry for the staff who have the daily problem. skychip

9:27pm Fri 17 Jan 14

3thinker says...

Peter WR5 wrote:
The suggestion to dispense with the services of a chief executive, in itself, was staggeringly foolish. Then to suggest that the CEO’s duties be distributed amongst the elected councillors tells the real truth that they have not the first understanding of good corporate governance. I am deeply saddened because my natural political inclination is not towards the Tories and I despair of the general standard of political leadership in this county. A sound CEO will provide leadership and judgement and could already have the management experience to implement the budget.

I return to what I have posted several times before: create a unitary authority for Worcestershire and obtain the economies of scale and political clout that would go with that. But, as 3thinker has posted, ‘… turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.’
Making Worcestershire a Unitary Authority makes absolute sense.
It would bring considerable economies of scale, fewer Chief Executives, Senior Officers and Councillors for a start.
It would also reduce the buck passing and posturing between district and district and county and district and help focus more resources on delivery.
Just as importantly it would be much clearer to the electorate and service users who is responsible for which service.
[quote][p][bold]Peter WR5[/bold] wrote: The suggestion to dispense with the services of a chief executive, in itself, was staggeringly foolish. Then to suggest that the CEO’s duties be distributed amongst the elected councillors tells the real truth that they have not the first understanding of good corporate governance. I am deeply saddened because my natural political inclination is not towards the Tories and I despair of the general standard of political leadership in this county. A sound CEO will provide leadership and judgement and could already have the management experience to implement the budget. I return to what I have posted several times before: create a unitary authority for Worcestershire and obtain the economies of scale and political clout that would go with that. But, as 3thinker has posted, ‘… turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.’[/p][/quote]Making Worcestershire a Unitary Authority makes absolute sense. It would bring considerable economies of scale, fewer Chief Executives, Senior Officers and Councillors for a start. It would also reduce the buck passing and posturing between district and district and county and district and help focus more resources on delivery. Just as importantly it would be much clearer to the electorate and service users who is responsible for which service. 3thinker

11:47pm Fri 17 Jan 14

F1 Dave says...

Well said Hardman, you say you are not up to being Head of the Council.

(we also looked at the ‘great leader’ model, but I decided against that one as I suspect I haven’t the judgement or patience to pull it off)

So step down you are a disgrace to the people of Worcestershire, this is the time that WCC needs leadership.
On the point of leadership, WCC has now got an chief executive and assistant
chief executive assistant to the assistant chief executive, 5 Top directors, loads of top managers.
This leadership could not sort out anything, all there are doing is getting rid of the work force and keeping the over paid managers.
It has now been stated by the top managers that services will be outsourced even if the services covers its costs. This is not saving money!
Well said Hardman, you say you are not up to being Head of the Council. (we also looked at the ‘great leader’ model, but I decided against that one as I suspect I haven’t the judgement or patience to pull it off) So step down you are a disgrace to the people of Worcestershire, this is the time that WCC needs leadership. On the point of leadership, WCC has now got an chief executive and assistant chief executive assistant to the assistant chief executive, 5 Top directors, loads of top managers. This leadership could not sort out anything, all there are doing is getting rid of the work force and keeping the over paid managers. It has now been stated by the top managers that services will be outsourced even if the services covers its costs. This is not saving money! F1 Dave

7:45am Sat 18 Jan 14

green49 says...

Well what did anyone expect of this Tory shambles, jobs for the boys again,
Ms Haines was not good in her job she made so many gaffs and all at taxpayers expense, the people need to get out and vote IMO you dont vote or pay your tax like most who contribute to the country then you do not deserve a voice so vote this shambles out,

F1 dave is right, Keith B has a point,

The cuts to services and so call consultations will come back to bite this council they are lying to us all as it is totally not neccessary.

As reguards the parking at county hall, on the countryside centre coucnil employees are only allowed to park on the right not in the centers area, i know its ignored but the WCC closed so many places and told workforce to work from county hall, there is nowhere to go, the locals and the local estate have no spaces, if workers park off road on verges they get a council ticket for £60, The whole organisation is a joke, yesterday i went to use the canteen when i was there and no forks, no spoons, others asked aswell, why? the councillors were there for lunch? Stuff the workers lets have another jolly. W******
Well what did anyone expect of this Tory shambles, jobs for the boys again, Ms Haines was not good in her job she made so many gaffs and all at taxpayers expense, the people need to get out and vote IMO you dont vote or pay your tax like most who contribute to the country then you do not deserve a voice so vote this shambles out, F1 dave is right, Keith B has a point, The cuts to services and so call consultations will come back to bite this council they are lying to us all as it is totally not neccessary. As reguards the parking at county hall, on the countryside centre coucnil employees are only allowed to park on the right not in the centers area, i know its ignored but the WCC closed so many places and told workforce to work from county hall, there is nowhere to go, the locals and the local estate have no spaces, if workers park off road on verges they get a council ticket for £60, The whole organisation is a joke, yesterday i went to use the canteen when i was there and no forks, no spoons, others asked aswell, why? the councillors were there for lunch? Stuff the workers lets have another jolly. W****** green49

8:10am Sat 18 Jan 14

green49 says...

I have just read another item MR Hardman says people dont care if the WCC hand over serices to other providers, WHAT A LIER he is, he is not fit for purpose and should resign NOW, his so called commisioning is a joke its full of lies and threats to staff who tell the truth, I do work in the area of care not for WCC but in and around them, i do some volunteer as well as some paid as i have bills the same as everyone else but i will not volunteer for his schemes to feather other peoples nests when the best service at cost to the taxpayer is done by the council, most the Private care companies i have come across are rubbish, its all about doing less for the money they get,
I have just read another item MR Hardman says people dont care if the WCC hand over serices to other providers, WHAT A LIER he is, he is not fit for purpose and should resign NOW, his so called commisioning is a joke its full of lies and threats to staff who tell the truth, I do work in the area of care not for WCC but in and around them, i do some volunteer as well as some paid as i have bills the same as everyone else but i will not volunteer for his schemes to feather other peoples nests when the best service at cost to the taxpayer is done by the council, most the Private care companies i have come across are rubbish, its all about doing less for the money they get, green49

9:53am Sat 18 Jan 14

JackBarley says...

dibble dibble wrote:
Have you tried parking at the country side centre recently? it is full of social workers from county hall trying to park I'll go elsewhere to avoid it from now - it's shame for the cafe if others are doing the same.

But you've got to feel sorry for the social workers who need to see people at home, especially when they get shouted at for parking in the countryside centre (as I saw the other day). The poor girl was apologising to the dog walker, saying the council doesn't let her park at county hall, but she has to see her clients at their houses No wonder they are leaving their jobs, it must be bad enough worrying about all the abuse of kids, parking arguments must be the last straw.

How about we save money by giving them what they need for their jobs without wasting their precious time?
Are all the clients at the countryside centre?
[quote][p][bold]dibble dibble[/bold] wrote: Have you tried parking at the country side centre recently? it is full of social workers from county hall trying to park I'll go elsewhere to avoid it from now - it's shame for the cafe if others are doing the same. But you've got to feel sorry for the social workers who need to see people at home, especially when they get shouted at for parking in the countryside centre (as I saw the other day). The poor girl was apologising to the dog walker, saying the council doesn't let her park at county hall, but she has to see her clients at their houses No wonder they are leaving their jobs, it must be bad enough worrying about all the abuse of kids, parking arguments must be the last straw. How about we save money by giving them what they need for their jobs without wasting their precious time?[/p][/quote]Are all the clients at the countryside centre? JackBarley

11:39am Sat 18 Jan 14

Jabbadad says...

3thinker has hit the nail on the head by describing the 57 Councillors additional £10,000 special allowance given to the Councillors as to be used as vote catching monies.
While the discussions rage about Trish Haines value / need, we need to ask if she is so important is their a need for such expensive Councillors? These councillors are costing we tax payers in excess of £862,434.56 per year Yes Eight Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand, Four hundred and Thirty Four pounds Fifty six pence peryear.Add these allowances and special allowances together we get £1,432,434.56 Yes over £1.4 millions for 57 councillors plus all the support staff that they need and who do all the work anyway, and then Ask DO WE GET BEST VALUE????
The Tories are in unison over taking away Supporting People Grants which will ABANDONour most vulnerable and Older People, who Live in Sheltered Housing, and also those who use Floating Warden services to enable them to stay / live in their own homes which saves Hospital Beds costing Over £3,000 per week or Nursing Home places which can cost over £1,000 per week.
Aren't we told that Tories are business people, well look at the additional costs which could be incurred and you might think that Tories are but FOOLS or NASTY TORIES I Favour BOTH descriptions .
3thinker has hit the nail on the head by describing the 57 Councillors additional £10,000 special allowance given to the Councillors as to be used as vote catching monies. While the discussions rage about Trish Haines value / need, we need to ask if she is so important is their a need for such expensive Councillors? These councillors are costing we tax payers in excess of £862,434.56 per year Yes Eight Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand, Four hundred and Thirty Four pounds Fifty six pence peryear.Add these allowances and special allowances together we get £1,432,434.56 Yes over £1.4 millions for 57 councillors plus all the support staff that they need and who do all the work anyway, and then Ask DO WE GET BEST VALUE???? The Tories are in unison over taking away Supporting People Grants which will ABANDONour most vulnerable and Older People, who Live in Sheltered Housing, and also those who use Floating Warden services to enable them to stay / live in their own homes which saves Hospital Beds costing Over £3,000 per week or Nursing Home places which can cost over £1,000 per week. Aren't we told that Tories are business people, well look at the additional costs which could be incurred and you might think that Tories are but FOOLS or NASTY TORIES I Favour BOTH descriptions . Jabbadad

11:47am Sat 18 Jan 14

mauro balbino says...

So, they did not even consider a probation period to see how things would become? Not theoretically, but giving it a trial and, if not successful, use the same money to allocate half-dozen already hired people to perform the same tasks our brave and most efficient chief used to do? Oh, wait, that was being done already...

Sorry, I became confused here and I was not suppose too, because at the end of it, things are very simple: tax-payers not listened to and resulting in more of the same.

Yes, that's it: more of the same!
So, they did not even consider a probation period to see how things would become? Not theoretically, but giving it a trial and, if not successful, use the same money to allocate half-dozen already hired people to perform the same tasks our brave and most efficient chief used to do? Oh, wait, that was being done already... Sorry, I became confused here and I was not suppose too, because at the end of it, things are very simple: tax-payers not listened to and resulting in more of the same. Yes, that's it: more of the same! mauro balbino

4:23pm Sat 18 Jan 14

3thinker says...

In Worcestershire most of us have five layers of Government and bureaucracy:
European
National
County
District/City
Parish/Town Council (for the rural and some of the urban areas.

All effectively set taxes and cost tax payers in terms of councillor and administrative expenses. I'm sure I'm not the only one is less than convinced that as taxpayers this is value for money or an effective way of getting efficient and co-ordinated services.

The simplest solution is to reduce the layers of bureaucracy. Obviously UKIP and some of the Tories want to extract us from Europe, but that's unlikely and certainly not in the short term. We certainly need a national Government.

The scope for de-layering is therefore local. Why does Worcestershire need three layers of local government when the majority of residents in the UK have single unitary authorities that do everything and where there is much more scope for reducing the wasteful factional infighting and posturing between Districts and County.

All of our local Councillors have been happy enough to restructure, de-layer and sack lots of Council staff. Isn't it about time they did this themselves and took the logical step to set up Worcestershire as a Unitary Authority?

Its not as though we'd notice much of a difference as most of them have 'jobs' on both the County and District/City and many are also parish and town councillors too!

We'd also need only one Chief Executive instead of seven!
In Worcestershire most of us have five layers of Government and bureaucracy: European National County District/City Parish/Town Council (for the rural and some of the urban areas. All effectively set taxes and cost tax payers in terms of councillor and administrative expenses. I'm sure I'm not the only one is less than convinced that as taxpayers this is value for money or an effective way of getting efficient and co-ordinated services. The simplest solution is to reduce the layers of bureaucracy. Obviously UKIP and some of the Tories want to extract us from Europe, but that's unlikely and certainly not in the short term. We certainly need a national Government. The scope for de-layering is therefore local. Why does Worcestershire need three layers of local government when the majority of residents in the UK have single unitary authorities that do everything and where there is much more scope for reducing the wasteful factional infighting and posturing between Districts and County. All of our local Councillors have been happy enough to restructure, de-layer and sack lots of Council staff. Isn't it about time they did this themselves and took the logical step to set up Worcestershire as a Unitary Authority? Its not as though we'd notice much of a difference as most of them have 'jobs' on both the County and District/City and many are also parish and town councillors too! We'd also need only one Chief Executive instead of seven! 3thinker

4:36pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Letterman says...

The whole make up and structure of Worcestershire county council needs a **** good shake up asap, otherwise we'll not only continue to receive poor and inefficient services from so many poor performing staff, but they'll continue to take us hardworking tax payers for a ride too.

It's not right seeing how much councillors receive from the public purse, but what's even more scandalous is how much council staff receive, particularly the top tiers of management. Trish Haines receives £176k per year. Below her are 5 directors on £112,998 to £124,296 a year. Below these directors are 17 departments heads and the assistant chief executive earning between £75,267 and £97,478 a year. We are shelling out, potentially, around £2.5m just for the salary of 24 staff, which clearly isn't right! And when you consider there are probably a couple of thousand of staff employed at various levels below these department heads who are also on relatively high salaries, it's apparent that a lot of our council taxes are going on salaries alone, and that's before you consider you consider the payment of expenses, bonuses and perks to these staff.

Imagine how many services could be saved or improved if these staff either took a proper, real world pay cut or more posts were abolished, especially those from the top tier of management. Do we need 5 directors, 1 assistant chief executive and 17 department heads? It's time the council look at the private sector for leaner and more efficient tiers of management, working practices and cost savings. I bet the likes of Worcester Bosch who employ more people than the council don't have this many tiers of management or so many senior staff.
The whole make up and structure of Worcestershire county council needs a **** good shake up asap, otherwise we'll not only continue to receive poor and inefficient services from so many poor performing staff, but they'll continue to take us hardworking tax payers for a ride too. It's not right seeing how much councillors receive from the public purse, but what's even more scandalous is how much council staff receive, particularly the top tiers of management. Trish Haines receives £176k per year. Below her are 5 directors on £112,998 to £124,296 a year. Below these directors are 17 departments heads and the assistant chief executive earning between £75,267 and £97,478 a year. We are shelling out, potentially, around £2.5m just for the salary of 24 staff, which clearly isn't right! And when you consider there are probably a couple of thousand of staff employed at various levels below these department heads who are also on relatively high salaries, it's apparent that a lot of our council taxes are going on salaries alone, and that's before you consider you consider the payment of expenses, bonuses and perks to these staff. Imagine how many services could be saved or improved if these staff either took a proper, real world pay cut or more posts were abolished, especially those from the top tier of management. Do we need 5 directors, 1 assistant chief executive and 17 department heads? It's time the council look at the private sector for leaner and more efficient tiers of management, working practices and cost savings. I bet the likes of Worcester Bosch who employ more people than the council don't have this many tiers of management or so many senior staff. Letterman

4:45pm Sat 18 Jan 14

3thinker says...

Letterman wrote:
The whole make up and structure of Worcestershire county council needs a **** good shake up asap, otherwise we'll not only continue to receive poor and inefficient services from so many poor performing staff, but they'll continue to take us hardworking tax payers for a ride too.

It's not right seeing how much councillors receive from the public purse, but what's even more scandalous is how much council staff receive, particularly the top tiers of management. Trish Haines receives £176k per year. Below her are 5 directors on £112,998 to £124,296 a year. Below these directors are 17 departments heads and the assistant chief executive earning between £75,267 and £97,478 a year. We are shelling out, potentially, around £2.5m just for the salary of 24 staff, which clearly isn't right! And when you consider there are probably a couple of thousand of staff employed at various levels below these department heads who are also on relatively high salaries, it's apparent that a lot of our council taxes are going on salaries alone, and that's before you consider you consider the payment of expenses, bonuses and perks to these staff.

Imagine how many services could be saved or improved if these staff either took a proper, real world pay cut or more posts were abolished, especially those from the top tier of management. Do we need 5 directors, 1 assistant chief executive and 17 department heads? It's time the council look at the private sector for leaner and more efficient tiers of management, working practices and cost savings. I bet the likes of Worcester Bosch who employ more people than the council don't have this many tiers of management or so many senior staff.
We do need quality staff to lead our council services. To get and keep them it may well be that high salaries have to be paid. The way to save lots on senior management is to merge the County and six Districts together into a Worcestershire Unitary Authority. There would also be other efficiencies and a massive reduction in the number of councillors.
[quote][p][bold]Letterman[/bold] wrote: The whole make up and structure of Worcestershire county council needs a **** good shake up asap, otherwise we'll not only continue to receive poor and inefficient services from so many poor performing staff, but they'll continue to take us hardworking tax payers for a ride too. It's not right seeing how much councillors receive from the public purse, but what's even more scandalous is how much council staff receive, particularly the top tiers of management. Trish Haines receives £176k per year. Below her are 5 directors on £112,998 to £124,296 a year. Below these directors are 17 departments heads and the assistant chief executive earning between £75,267 and £97,478 a year. We are shelling out, potentially, around £2.5m just for the salary of 24 staff, which clearly isn't right! And when you consider there are probably a couple of thousand of staff employed at various levels below these department heads who are also on relatively high salaries, it's apparent that a lot of our council taxes are going on salaries alone, and that's before you consider you consider the payment of expenses, bonuses and perks to these staff. Imagine how many services could be saved or improved if these staff either took a proper, real world pay cut or more posts were abolished, especially those from the top tier of management. Do we need 5 directors, 1 assistant chief executive and 17 department heads? It's time the council look at the private sector for leaner and more efficient tiers of management, working practices and cost savings. I bet the likes of Worcester Bosch who employ more people than the council don't have this many tiers of management or so many senior staff.[/p][/quote]We do need quality staff to lead our council services. To get and keep them it may well be that high salaries have to be paid. The way to save lots on senior management is to merge the County and six Districts together into a Worcestershire Unitary Authority. There would also be other efficiencies and a massive reduction in the number of councillors. 3thinker

5:09pm Sat 18 Jan 14

jb says...

It was laughed out by the Tories, who said the request could cause chaos and leave staff clueless about who was really in charge.

No change there then.
It was laughed out by the Tories, who said the request could cause chaos and leave staff clueless about who was really in charge. No change there then. jb

12:22am Sun 19 Jan 14

Jabbadad says...

jb perhaps what they really meant was that they might not be able to get their snouts back in the money trough.
jb perhaps what they really meant was that they might not be able to get their snouts back in the money trough. Jabbadad

11:20am Sun 19 Jan 14

green49 says...

There are layers of managemant at County hall that need badly to be got ri of, the workers carry most of them anyway, its taxpayers funding so much waste at county hall yet this Tory rabble wont see it,

There are some extremely knowledgeable working staff and make sure that we all get good value for the tax we pay but it is the higher staff levels that are inexperienced, some have almost no knowledge of there own departments work its just an insult to us all and some of these staff only work 3 days on huge money.
There are layers of managemant at County hall that need badly to be got ri of, the workers carry most of them anyway, its taxpayers funding so much waste at county hall yet this Tory rabble wont see it, There are some extremely knowledgeable working staff and make sure that we all get good value for the tax we pay but it is the higher staff levels that are inexperienced, some have almost no knowledge of there own departments work its just an insult to us all and some of these staff only work 3 days on huge money. green49

9:58pm Sun 19 Jan 14

DarrenM says...

of course it was laughed out - After all they must keep tax payer funded feather bedded public service jobs and gold plated pensions, if the chief executive post was axed, people would start looking at some of these other cosy non-jobs for the axe next.
of course it was laughed out - After all they must keep tax payer funded feather bedded public service jobs and gold plated pensions, if the chief executive post was axed, people would start looking at some of these other cosy non-jobs for the axe next. DarrenM

10:11pm Sun 19 Jan 14

3thinker says...

DarrenM wrote:
of course it was laughed out - After all they must keep tax payer funded feather bedded public service jobs and gold plated pensions, if the chief executive post was axed, people would start looking at some of these other cosy non-jobs for the axe next.
What a great Idea Darren. Yes lets get a few bankers or managers from the privatised utilities in. Perhaps Capita or G4S. May be even some of the private sector developers that know what's best for our communities. I'm sure they'd do a much better job.
[quote][p][bold]DarrenM[/bold] wrote: of course it was laughed out - After all they must keep tax payer funded feather bedded public service jobs and gold plated pensions, if the chief executive post was axed, people would start looking at some of these other cosy non-jobs for the axe next.[/p][/quote]What a great Idea Darren. Yes lets get a few bankers or managers from the privatised utilities in. Perhaps Capita or G4S. May be even some of the private sector developers that know what's best for our communities. I'm sure they'd do a much better job. 3thinker

9:54am Mon 20 Jan 14

robby1234 says...

There must be a leader of the council that is ultimately accountable for the good or bad running of the WCC but should they be paid more than the Prime Minister? No. Nothing justifies the high salaries given out the the top tier of management at the council.
Running the council is akin to running a business and should be run as such. Trouble with the hierarchy of the WCC is that it seems there is not one ounce of business acumen or management skill among them.
They lack what the average Yorkshireman would call nowse.
I really believe they don't know what they are doing and have niether the skills or management experience to run this organization properly.
There must be a leader of the council that is ultimately accountable for the good or bad running of the WCC but should they be paid more than the Prime Minister? No. Nothing justifies the high salaries given out the the top tier of management at the council. Running the council is akin to running a business and should be run as such. Trouble with the hierarchy of the WCC is that it seems there is not one ounce of business acumen or management skill among them. They lack what the average Yorkshireman would call nowse. I really believe they don't know what they are doing and have niether the skills or management experience to run this organization properly. robby1234

11:31am Mon 20 Jan 14

Letterman says...

robby1234 wrote:
There must be a leader of the council that is ultimately accountable for the good or bad running of the WCC but should they be paid more than the Prime Minister? No. Nothing justifies the high salaries given out the the top tier of management at the council.
Running the council is akin to running a business and should be run as such. Trouble with the hierarchy of the WCC is that it seems there is not one ounce of business acumen or management skill among them.
They lack what the average Yorkshireman would call nowse.
I really believe they don't know what they are doing and have niether the skills or management experience to run this organization properly.
I agree entirely. So many people at WCC, especially those in the top tiers of management (chief executive, 5 directors, assistant chief executive and 17 department heads) simply do not have a clue what they are doing or have the appropriate skills to deliver lean and effective services.

As I've mentioned in a previous WN article, some council services are already being handled by the private sector and have shown improvements. For example, major highway projects are now managed by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, which is a consortium of businesses in Worcestershire, and there have been improvements in the way these highway services are provided compared to when the council was running the show. The Worcestershire LEP should now be tasked with managing the council.

The businesses that are part of the Worcestershire LEP are massive successes and include the likes of Worcester Bosch, Mazak and Webbs garden centre, and they have achieved these successes through good business acumen. Of course, these businesses exist to make money, and this is achieved through the sales of products, but another reason for their huge success are through savings made through efficient and lean working practices, intelligence and a harder working ethic, elements much of which are entirely absence from the council. Can you imagine how much better the council would be, and how services would be improved and be at less risk, if the likes of Worcester Bosch's, Mazak's and Webbs' management took over the helm at County Hall?
[quote][p][bold]robby1234[/bold] wrote: There must be a leader of the council that is ultimately accountable for the good or bad running of the WCC but should they be paid more than the Prime Minister? No. Nothing justifies the high salaries given out the the top tier of management at the council. Running the council is akin to running a business and should be run as such. Trouble with the hierarchy of the WCC is that it seems there is not one ounce of business acumen or management skill among them. They lack what the average Yorkshireman would call nowse. I really believe they don't know what they are doing and have niether the skills or management experience to run this organization properly.[/p][/quote]I agree entirely. So many people at WCC, especially those in the top tiers of management (chief executive, 5 directors, assistant chief executive and 17 department heads) simply do not have a clue what they are doing or have the appropriate skills to deliver lean and effective services. As I've mentioned in a previous WN article, some council services are already being handled by the private sector and have shown improvements. For example, major highway projects are now managed by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, which is a consortium of businesses in Worcestershire, and there have been improvements in the way these highway services are provided compared to when the council was running the show. The Worcestershire LEP should now be tasked with managing the council. The businesses that are part of the Worcestershire LEP are massive successes and include the likes of Worcester Bosch, Mazak and Webbs garden centre, and they have achieved these successes through good business acumen. Of course, these businesses exist to make money, and this is achieved through the sales of products, but another reason for their huge success are through savings made through efficient and lean working practices, intelligence and a harder working ethic, elements much of which are entirely absence from the council. Can you imagine how much better the council would be, and how services would be improved and be at less risk, if the likes of Worcester Bosch's, Mazak's and Webbs' management took over the helm at County Hall? Letterman

12:21pm Mon 20 Jan 14

3thinker says...

Letterman wrote:
robby1234 wrote:
There must be a leader of the council that is ultimately accountable for the good or bad running of the WCC but should they be paid more than the Prime Minister? No. Nothing justifies the high salaries given out the the top tier of management at the council.
Running the council is akin to running a business and should be run as such. Trouble with the hierarchy of the WCC is that it seems there is not one ounce of business acumen or management skill among them.
They lack what the average Yorkshireman would call nowse.
I really believe they don't know what they are doing and have niether the skills or management experience to run this organization properly.
I agree entirely. So many people at WCC, especially those in the top tiers of management (chief executive, 5 directors, assistant chief executive and 17 department heads) simply do not have a clue what they are doing or have the appropriate skills to deliver lean and effective services.

As I've mentioned in a previous WN article, some council services are already being handled by the private sector and have shown improvements. For example, major highway projects are now managed by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, which is a consortium of businesses in Worcestershire, and there have been improvements in the way these highway services are provided compared to when the council was running the show. The Worcestershire LEP should now be tasked with managing the council.

The businesses that are part of the Worcestershire LEP are massive successes and include the likes of Worcester Bosch, Mazak and Webbs garden centre, and they have achieved these successes through good business acumen. Of course, these businesses exist to make money, and this is achieved through the sales of products, but another reason for their huge success are through savings made through efficient and lean working practices, intelligence and a harder working ethic, elements much of which are entirely absence from the council. Can you imagine how much better the council would be, and how services would be improved and be at less risk, if the likes of Worcester Bosch's, Mazak's and Webbs' management took over the helm at County Hall?
Yep.

We'd have warm homes and flowers and shrubs everywhere.

Seriously the management of public sector services is very complicated and you do need managers with specific expertise (and I'm not saying WCC management do a wonderful job at it), The County could certainly benefit from more private sector skills and a more entrepreneurial approach, but I don't see how you can seriously be suggesting Webbs management take over.

N-Power for example may be very lean and efficient at running a privatised utility, but I doubt they have the customer care skills needed to run a complex multi-stakeholder organisation such as the County Council.
[quote][p][bold]Letterman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]robby1234[/bold] wrote: There must be a leader of the council that is ultimately accountable for the good or bad running of the WCC but should they be paid more than the Prime Minister? No. Nothing justifies the high salaries given out the the top tier of management at the council. Running the council is akin to running a business and should be run as such. Trouble with the hierarchy of the WCC is that it seems there is not one ounce of business acumen or management skill among them. They lack what the average Yorkshireman would call nowse. I really believe they don't know what they are doing and have niether the skills or management experience to run this organization properly.[/p][/quote]I agree entirely. So many people at WCC, especially those in the top tiers of management (chief executive, 5 directors, assistant chief executive and 17 department heads) simply do not have a clue what they are doing or have the appropriate skills to deliver lean and effective services. As I've mentioned in a previous WN article, some council services are already being handled by the private sector and have shown improvements. For example, major highway projects are now managed by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, which is a consortium of businesses in Worcestershire, and there have been improvements in the way these highway services are provided compared to when the council was running the show. The Worcestershire LEP should now be tasked with managing the council. The businesses that are part of the Worcestershire LEP are massive successes and include the likes of Worcester Bosch, Mazak and Webbs garden centre, and they have achieved these successes through good business acumen. Of course, these businesses exist to make money, and this is achieved through the sales of products, but another reason for their huge success are through savings made through efficient and lean working practices, intelligence and a harder working ethic, elements much of which are entirely absence from the council. Can you imagine how much better the council would be, and how services would be improved and be at less risk, if the likes of Worcester Bosch's, Mazak's and Webbs' management took over the helm at County Hall?[/p][/quote]Yep. We'd have warm homes and flowers and shrubs everywhere. Seriously the management of public sector services is very complicated and you do need managers with specific expertise (and I'm not saying WCC management do a wonderful job at it), The County could certainly benefit from more private sector skills and a more entrepreneurial approach, but I don't see how you can seriously be suggesting Webbs management take over. N-Power for example may be very lean and efficient at running a privatised utility, but I doubt they have the customer care skills needed to run a complex multi-stakeholder organisation such as the County Council. 3thinker

1:16pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Jabbadad says...

You all seem to forget that all Tiers of management at County Hall come under the control of the County Councillors who do strut the corridors of power, while following the PARTY LINE.
So the problems are not the workforce but those who RULE THE ROOST the Councillors.
And the same goes at the City Council.
Until we have a system of compulsary voting (as Australia) and Proportional Representation we will always have this situation.
You all seem to forget that all Tiers of management at County Hall come under the control of the County Councillors who do strut the corridors of power, while following the PARTY LINE. So the problems are not the workforce but those who RULE THE ROOST the Councillors. And the same goes at the City Council. Until we have a system of compulsary voting (as Australia) and Proportional Representation we will always have this situation. Jabbadad

1:58pm Mon 20 Jan 14

themooman says...

Keith B wrote:
The truth is that there is no need to cut services ... the Council can be funded quite easily if the will of the people is there. Simply double the Council Tax. There would have to be a referendum (on any rise over 5%) and more than 50% of those who vote would need to back it .... but if it's what the people want, so be it. And we can keep all our services. Because Central Government will keep cutting until they don't subsidise Councils any more, it is the only option .... eventually. But when it is rejected ... as it most certainly will as Turkey's (in the form of the ratepayers) really don't vote for Christmas ... then nobody can complain when services from schools to social services are cut to the bone and beyond. Our roads will become grassy tracks, no busses will be subsidised, old people will have to fend for themselves without carers, school books will never be renewed, teachers can have as many training days as they want (without pay, indeed fined for taking unauthorised holidays), we'll have to stop heating public buildings (including schools), shut all the libraries and museums - oh yes, and cut out Councillors allowances and discretionary funds. We could cut the idiot who keeps putting up traffic lights and turn all the traffic lights off and just ask drivers to be a bit careful at junctions. Fire cover could be cut too and just let any fires burn out naturally (even if they spread to other properties). We could sell off County Hall to a Hi Tec Company who will create jobs and revenue and the few staff who remain at the County Council can work out of one of the closed down schools. Cut out all consultants too. No need for a high pay Chief Exec, because they'd only have a few staff to supervise. Just promote one of the better clerical officers - might as well because it's how they fill vacancies at the moment, just asking a junior officer to take over the duties of the departed person without any extra pay or promotion. And these columns would be almost empty because nobody could legitimately complain because it would have been the choice of the electorate.
you sir, have far too much time on your hands
[quote][p][bold]Keith B[/bold] wrote: The truth is that there is no need to cut services ... the Council can be funded quite easily if the will of the people is there. Simply double the Council Tax. There would have to be a referendum (on any rise over 5%) and more than 50% of those who vote would need to back it .... but if it's what the people want, so be it. And we can keep all our services. Because Central Government will keep cutting until they don't subsidise Councils any more, it is the only option .... eventually. But when it is rejected ... as it most certainly will as Turkey's (in the form of the ratepayers) really don't vote for Christmas ... then nobody can complain when services from schools to social services are cut to the bone and beyond. Our roads will become grassy tracks, no busses will be subsidised, old people will have to fend for themselves without carers, school books will never be renewed, teachers can have as many training days as they want (without pay, indeed fined for taking unauthorised holidays), we'll have to stop heating public buildings (including schools), shut all the libraries and museums - oh yes, and cut out Councillors allowances and discretionary funds. We could cut the idiot who keeps putting up traffic lights and turn all the traffic lights off and just ask drivers to be a bit careful at junctions. Fire cover could be cut too and just let any fires burn out naturally (even if they spread to other properties). We could sell off County Hall to a Hi Tec Company who will create jobs and revenue and the few staff who remain at the County Council can work out of one of the closed down schools. Cut out all consultants too. No need for a high pay Chief Exec, because they'd only have a few staff to supervise. Just promote one of the better clerical officers - might as well because it's how they fill vacancies at the moment, just asking a junior officer to take over the duties of the departed person without any extra pay or promotion. And these columns would be almost empty because nobody could legitimately complain because it would have been the choice of the electorate.[/p][/quote]you sir, have far too much time on your hands themooman

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