We must have a chief executive, says council leader

We must have a chief executive, says council leader

We must have a chief executive, says council leader

First published in News Malvern Gazette: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

THE leader of Worcestershire County Council has revealed his reasons for not 'sharing' or even going without a chief executive - saying it would be wrong for a politician to have so much power.

Councillor Adrian Hardman says unlike an increasing number of town halls around the country, his authority will never be without a top boss under his leadership.

As your Worcester News revealed on Friday, a new 'town hall rich list' has been published showing 18 council workers in Worcestershire were paid more than £100,000 last year.

It included eight county council workers, two of whom were on less basic pay than six figures but crossed the threshold after getting redundancy pay.

Current chief executive Clare Marchant is on £151,000 per year, and only took over in June after Trish Haines retired.

At the time the Conservative leadership did briefly consider sharing a chief executive, but privately decided against it.

Cllr Hardman has now told your Worcester News he thinks the idea would be "nuts".

"Some councils have moved in this direction but I think actually looking after the delivery of services is quite different from democratic accountability," he said.

"It also puts a lot of responsibility and power into the hands of one politician.

"In some councils you might have a leader who is quite a capable of doing it himself, but not all.

"Here in Worcestershire we're quite fortunate to have young, talented people around the leadership but that's not the case everywhere."

He said making the change could also prove risky as leaders do change and in some upper tier councils, it is not uncommon to have politicians leading them in their 70s.

Tory-controlled Wiltshire Council went without a chief executive completely in 2011, leaving more responsibility in the hands of its directors and political leadership.

Rugby Council then did the same, and more locally district councils in Wychavon and Malvern are considering sharing one between them.

Cllr Hardman also says he does not see any further reductions in the number of County Hall directors, which now stands at four.

The current quartet of directors all earn more than £100,000 a year in basic pay, down from five one year ago.

"There comes a point where it's difficult to make more serious squeezes," he said.

Comments (5)

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3:10pm Mon 11 Aug 14

3thinker says...

Of course a Council news a Chief Executive.

The real problem is that Worcestershire doesn't need 7 Councils, 7 Chief Executives and their senior management teams and literally hundreds of councillors to run rapidly declining services many of which are or will be privatised.

Its a massive and unnecessary waste of money the local taxpayers can't afford.

All the big cities and several counties have had a singe Council to run local government services. Its cheaper, more efficient and done well is actually more democratic.

Perhaps the Worcester News should be asking Hardman, Geraghty etc why we need 7 Leaders and 7 Chief Executives in Worcestershire rather than one of each to run Herefordshire or Birmingham?
Of course a Council news a Chief Executive. The real problem is that Worcestershire doesn't need 7 Councils, 7 Chief Executives and their senior management teams and literally hundreds of councillors to run rapidly declining services many of which are or will be privatised. Its a massive and unnecessary waste of money the local taxpayers can't afford. All the big cities and several counties have had a singe Council to run local government services. Its cheaper, more efficient and done well is actually more democratic. Perhaps the Worcester News should be asking Hardman, Geraghty etc why we need 7 Leaders and 7 Chief Executives in Worcestershire rather than one of each to run Herefordshire or Birmingham? 3thinker
  • Score: 15

9:29pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Andy_R says...

We have far too many council chiefs, on salaries that are far too high, and if the Alan Amos fiasco teaches us one thing, it's that councillors can pretty much do whatever the hell they like with no consequences, so nothing is going to change.

In other news, Turkeys announce their intention not to vote for Christmas.
We have far too many council chiefs, on salaries that are far too high, and if the Alan Amos fiasco teaches us one thing, it's that councillors can pretty much do whatever the hell they like with no consequences, so nothing is going to change. In other news, Turkeys announce their intention not to vote for Christmas. Andy_R
  • Score: 6

10:49am Tue 12 Aug 14

green49 says...

There are too many managers and seniors with noses in the trough at Country hall, incompetance is rife from these people yet the staff who actually do work there get the blame.
There are too many managers and seniors with noses in the trough at Country hall, incompetance is rife from these people yet the staff who actually do work there get the blame. green49
  • Score: 5

12:52am Wed 13 Aug 14

3thinker says...

Time to be really 'BOLD' Mr Hardman.

Time for some real 'Blue Sky' thinking Mr Hardman.

One Voice for Worcestershire.

One Council for Worcestershire.

Saves £Millions in unecessary bureaucracy including an excess of councillors.

Makes it more difficult for those who are left to pass the buck by pretending its not there responsibility despite being them being elected to the District as well as County Council.
Time to be really 'BOLD' Mr Hardman. Time for some real 'Blue Sky' thinking Mr Hardman. One Voice for Worcestershire. One Council for Worcestershire. Saves £Millions in unecessary bureaucracy including an excess of councillors. Makes it more difficult for those who are left to pass the buck by pretending its not there responsibility despite being them being elected to the District as well as County Council. 3thinker
  • Score: 1

9:40am Wed 13 Aug 14

lucky2bhere says...

is it any wonder this County is under such financial pressure when we are drip feeding huge amounts to paid staff at senior level "because they're worth it" (or there's no way we'd attract them to work here (?) - and probably cutting front line posts to finance that. I fail to grasp what the hell is going on at County Hall, is there anyone taking responsibility for the recent leaked document findings about tendering practices? Are councillors queuing up to take responsibility for perhaps taking their eyes of the ball as far as scrutiny is concerned? It's like the muppet show, a few old malcontents in the balcony look down, see nothing but chaos, witter on, but nothing ever seems to change. Time for a root and branch weeding out of those who have ridden the gravy train long enough?
is it any wonder this County is under such financial pressure when we are drip feeding huge amounts to paid staff at senior level "because they're worth it" (or there's no way we'd attract them to work here (?) - and probably cutting front line posts to finance that. I fail to grasp what the hell is going on at County Hall, is there anyone taking responsibility for the recent leaked document findings about tendering practices? Are councillors queuing up to take responsibility for perhaps taking their eyes of the ball as far as scrutiny is concerned? It's like the muppet show, a few old malcontents in the balcony look down, see nothing but chaos, witter on, but nothing ever seems to change. Time for a root and branch weeding out of those who have ridden the gravy train long enough? lucky2bhere
  • Score: 0

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