Latest Public Sector News

09.11.12

End to payoffs for local government chief executives – Pickles

Plans to save money by enabling easier and less expensive dismissals of highly paid but incompetent local government chief executives are due to be implemented by the communities secretary Eric Pickles.

The dismissal of a council chief executive often involves lengthy and costly legal investigations which result in generous payoffs given to chief executives to avoid these legal proceedings.

Pickles called for councils to appoint an independent reviewer such as a QC to examine dismissal and disciplinary cases. The reforms would be a reversal of the rules introduced by the Conservative government at the end of the 1980s to avoid politically motivated dismissals.

The recent suspension of a chief executive for the Isles of Scilly council illustrates that these enquiries can cost between £100,000 and £250,000, and one particular case cost £420,000 over a total investigation period of 16 months.

Resulting payoffs to avoid such inefficient procedures have prompted many complaints, as they are viewed as excessive.

Pickles argued: “A town hall chief executive costs a lot of money, but if they are simply not up to the job, councillors must be able to get rid of them quick-smart without having to throw away thousands in parachute payoffs.

“It is ridiculous that councils feel forced to give bumper payoffs to dismiss inadequate chief executives simply to avoid these unnecessary golden goodbye reviews from expensive lawyers.

“Scrapping this bizarre bureaucratic ritual will save taxpayers money and put the decision firmly back in democratically elected hands.”

He is supported by chief executive of the Tax Payers’ Alliance Matthew Sinclair, who commented: “Chief executives at successful councils have nothing to fear from this change but it will stop any complacency among those who aren't doing what they can to deliver value for money. Elected councillors need to be able to change a chief executive without paying a reward for failure at the expense of local residents.”

Councils are currently required to publicly publish their pay policies by the Localism Act. Research has recently showed that salaries for new chief executives have decreased by 11% on average between January and June 2012.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >