Friday, 16 July 2010

We know what you are. The only question is how much?

Sleaze, corruption and fat cat shenanigans in the piggeries of Newham this morning. It seems the 'abrasive' Joe Duckworth, the council's chief executive, returned from hols on Monday to a formal meeting with the council leader and lawyers. Following which he announced he was resigning to spend more time with his temper.

Fair dos, you might think. We don't know how many legal actions are pending against Newham over Duckworth's behaviour, or what the council's liability from his 'abrasive' management style might be.

For any other member of staff, you'd think a quiet resignation in such conditions was a good deal, but not for council chief executives. For some unimaginable reason, there is talk that Duckworth will have to be given a massive payoff; there is an almost Masonic agreement that these most cosseted of fat cats should have their mouths filled with gold every time they move.

I've got a tip for any Newham resident reading this. Write to the council's Chief Financial Officer informing them that you believe that any payment in excess of a contractual minimum would be ultra vires and should properly be recharged to councillors if made, and that you are writing to the District Auditor in the same terms.

London councils have a poisonous legacy of grossly overpaid fat cat bosses as a result of decades of PWC, KPMG, Crapita and the like peddling their specious snake-oil strategies to gullible councillors. It's time for a cull, and a cull at nil extra cost to the taxpayer. So pay Duckworth his last month's salary and take his mobile phone and door key from him on his way out. And do not engage some high-flown HR firm to find a replacement; they'll only lie that it needs a salary of £300k, then give it to a chief exec Masonic member from a neighbouring council. It's time to get real.


Scrobs... said...

Surcharging councillors!

Spot on Raders - let it roll!

Umbongo said...

Sorry Raedwald, one of the early actions of the last government was to abolish the ability to surcharge councillors. Accordingly, such a threat to the council's CFO is unfortunately empty. However, a more fruitful tactic might be to inform said CFO that if he authorises this payment he might lay himself open to a civil action for "misfeasance in public office".

Demetrius said...

Good one. What in blazes has been going on in these places. Once upon a time salaries were at agreed national levels related to size and complexity of authority. Now it is literally everyone for themselves. The result has been massive inflation at the top for the Plundercrat class of top office holders.

Elby the Beserk said...

Programme on R4 last year on Council leaders' salaries, and how they have rocketed. The main reason is that there is now a body which advises on the appropriate remuneration for these levels. It is composed of. You guessed it. Council leaders.

They also spoke to the new head of Suffolk council. £220,000pa. Predecessor - £160,000pa.
When asked why, she was clearly outraged, and said - because she was worth it.

It has been a free-for-all out there for some years, in which the public purse has been wantonly plundered.