The post of Deputy Chief Executive at Peterborough City Council was ended in March, around about the time when a question arose about individuals holding both salaried posts and consultancy roles within the Council. The post was vacated in March, in the financial year 2009/2010.
DARREN: I can refer back to when we used to have this position of Deputy Chief Executive, which was the first time we’d ever had it. Our group campaigned to find out exactly how much the chap was getting paid. We were told that we couldn’t be told this, because it was commercially sensitive, and it would cause all types of problems. We obviously didn’t rest there. We continued to fight. We got the result. And it was quite an impressive amount of money that one chap was getting for a job that wasn’t previously required.
Meanwhile, everyone is waiting to see whether savings will be made at the top of the Council, as opposed to sacking workers from the frontline.
It is noticeable that recently, in the context of making savage cuts to the Budget, defenders of the cuts may be tempted to quote the scrapping of this role as a budget saving, an example of Council making savings at the top as well as at the bottom of the heap.
But the role was vacated in March with a pledge it would not be re-filled for three years.
“An in-depth inquiry should be held into the circumstances of the Deputy Chief Executive post as some members did not feel that the published figures were correct. The arrangements for the Deputy Chief Executive post would be ending by 31 March 2010 and the Chief Executive was proposing that the post would be vacant for three years. If members wished to undertake an inquiry, the Executive Director would put together clear terms of reference for the remit of any inquiry.” Council Report 1 Medium Term Financial Plan 2010/11-2014/15 (note: 247 page 1.6mb pdf file)
No-one can therefore decently claim this as a recent top management saving within the context of the budget cuts required by the Comprehensive Spending Review.
Stewart Jackson 07:40 Monday 1st November 2010 Peterborough Breakfast Show BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:
“It’s not fair to just look at that, and not look at where the Council have also cut. It’s fair to say they’ve also cut the budget for the Deputy Chief Executive post, they’ve cut the budget for Your Peterborough, they’ve cut the budget for Neighbourhood Funding. They’re intending to do a lot more outsourcing. So the idea that they’re just cutting vulnerable people’s services …”
Probably just a slip of the tongue there, quoted out of context. But it does show you have to be careful. This is not a cut dictated by the Comprehensive Spending Review.