Could Worcestershire County Council do without a chief executive?

Evesham Journal: Trish Haines is leaving Worcestershire County Council in the spring Trish Haines is leaving Worcestershire County Council in the spring

CALLS are being made to scrap the hunt for a new chief executive at Worcestershire County Council – amid claims the job could be abolished altogether.

The opposition Labour group says that the council could do without a chief executive and vowed if it ever took power at County Hall, the role would be scrapped.

Now, the group wants to delay the current recruitment process by up to four months to launch an investigation into alternatives to bringing in a new boss.

As your Worcester News first revealed in November, current chief executive Trish Haines is taking early retirement in the spring.

She earns £176,000 and adverts have already been taken out for a replacement, with pay starting from £151,000 and rising to £170,000 by around 2017.

But Labour says the council could do without a top boss at all, instead promoting a current worker heading up one of the individual departments.

However, the idea has been rubbished by the Conservative administration, which has called the stance “bizarre”.

Councillor Peter McDonald, Labour group leader, said: “We’ve got a shrinking authority, services are being cut, jobs are going and we don’t think we need a chief executive.

“We know what the key legal requirements are and we don’t need to employ anyone to this job, especially on £150,000 to £170,000.

“When you talk to residents, they are furious.

“When you think what normal people are earning, these council bosses aren’t in the real world.

“We have a duty to warn any person considering applying for the job that we will abolish the post if we take control of the council.”

Although it is rare, in recent years some councils have chosen to do away with the chief executive role. 

In 2011, Wiltshire Council was the first major authority to do so, sharing the responsibilities across three corporate directors instead, saving £500,000 since then.

Rugby Council then did the same, giving their leader and two executive directors extra roles to make up for it.

South Holland District Council, in Lincolnshire, also shares its chief executive role with neighbouring town halls.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader, said: “The rate we are looking to pay is already one of the lowest.

“What Labour wants to do is bizarre, it’s the kind of thing that does councils no good and I think the average person in the street thinks we do need a chief executive.

“Wiltshire Council is struggling (without a chief executive) and it’s not something I’d propose we do.”


 


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Comments (22)

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8:58am Wed 15 Jan 14

SMC73 says...

Councillor Hardman may wish to view the poll results attached to this article, as opposed to speaking on behalf of Joe Public.
Councillor Hardman may wish to view the poll results attached to this article, as opposed to speaking on behalf of Joe Public. SMC73
  • Score: 13

9:21am Wed 15 Jan 14

reflector says...

Until local government was reorganised.(by Peter Walker MP incidentally) in 1974, Wocestershire County Council like most local authorities worked perfectly well without a chief executive.

The Clerk of the Council acted as the senior chief officer but had his own department to run too, the elected councillors (unpaid of course in those days) had far less of a role in the day to day running of the authority but were there to make the policy and to hold the officers to account. All councillors were involved through a Committee system rather than now with a small cabale of Cabinet members hand picked by the leader.

I am not usually one for wanting to return to 'the good old days' but here was a system that worked very well and I never understood why it was changed.
Until local government was reorganised.(by Peter Walker MP incidentally) in 1974, Wocestershire County Council like most local authorities worked perfectly well without a chief executive. The Clerk of the Council acted as the senior chief officer but had his own department to run too, the elected councillors (unpaid of course in those days) had far less of a role in the day to day running of the authority but were there to make the policy and to hold the officers to account. All councillors were involved through a Committee system rather than now with a small cabale of Cabinet members hand picked by the leader. I am not usually one for wanting to return to 'the good old days' but here was a system that worked very well and I never understood why it was changed. reflector
  • Score: 13

10:06am Wed 15 Jan 14

CJH says...

Better no executive than an ineffectual one. As we've found out.
Better no executive than an ineffectual one. As we've found out. CJH
  • Score: 8

10:34am Wed 15 Jan 14

thesquirrel says...

Why does the Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council need to be paid more than the Prime Minister? Is there a greater level of responsibility?
Why does the Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council need to be paid more than the Prime Minister? Is there a greater level of responsibility? thesquirrel
  • Score: 11

12:01pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Fishy says...

thesquirrel wrote:
Why does the Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council need to be paid more than the Prime Minister? Is there a greater level of responsibility?
Considering the two houses etc that the PM gets thrown in I don't think the salaries are really comparable.
[quote][p][bold]thesquirrel[/bold] wrote: Why does the Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council need to be paid more than the Prime Minister? Is there a greater level of responsibility?[/p][/quote]Considering the two houses etc that the PM gets thrown in I don't think the salaries are really comparable. Fishy
  • Score: -3

12:48pm Wed 15 Jan 14

denon says...

The Prime Minister’s annual pay is £142,500

The Prime Minister also has the benefit of official residences and a car and driver, in addition to Parliamentary allowances (other than the accommodation allowance). The interim report of the Hutton Review of Fair Pay in the public sector (December 2010) quotes the BBC as calculating that the Prime Minister’s total annual package could actually be worth £581,651.
The Prime Minister’s annual pay is £142,500 The Prime Minister also has the benefit of official residences and a car and driver, in addition to Parliamentary allowances (other than the accommodation allowance). The interim report of the Hutton Review of Fair Pay in the public sector (December 2010) quotes the BBC as calculating that the Prime Minister’s total annual package could actually be worth £581,651. denon
  • Score: 4

1:15pm Wed 15 Jan 14

lilboo says...

I've worked in the place - the Chief Exec is almost anonymous there. There is no doubt the post could be deleted and shared.

This is the right thing to do for the Council Tax payers, many of which have lost jobs, all but given up on getting anything that resembles a pension and then have to sit and watch Mrs Haines being allowed EARLY retirement and a nice top up to the pension pot! Scandalous!
I've worked in the place - the Chief Exec is almost anonymous there. There is no doubt the post could be deleted and shared. This is the right thing to do for the Council Tax payers, many of which have lost jobs, all but given up on getting anything that resembles a pension and then have to sit and watch Mrs Haines being allowed EARLY retirement and a nice top up to the pension pot! Scandalous! lilboo
  • Score: 13

4:42pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Landy44 says...

ermmmm. That headline is a rhetorical question right?

OF COURSE WCC could do without a Chief Exec. Frankly, Worcestershire could do without MOST of the rest of WCC too!!!!

If they shut up shop and let others provide replacement services on a commercial basis we'd all be MUCH better off in SO many ways!
ermmmm. That headline is a rhetorical question right? OF COURSE WCC could do without a Chief Exec. Frankly, Worcestershire could do without MOST of the rest of WCC too!!!! If they shut up shop and let others provide replacement services on a commercial basis we'd all be MUCH better off in SO many ways! Landy44
  • Score: -7

7:18am Thu 16 Jan 14

green49 says...

Another wind up Landy??? Yes the Chief should NOT be replaced also MR Hardman in my view is NOT fit for the job as he is just a yes man for the CONservatives.,

I work with PRIVATE services and the WCC

Private services are NOT the answer in fact some i know have lost contracts due to not giving the service they were being paid for, also failing to supply the correct information when payments have been made and then the WCC have had to go to big lengths to recover the money and in some cases over £100,000,
and some for just downright fraud, they have to be policed as its all in the name of profit, now what i have stated here are fact, you should check them out through FOI, it takes up to 40 days to get that info at more cost to the taxpayer?.
Another wind up Landy??? Yes the Chief should NOT be replaced also MR Hardman in my view is NOT fit for the job as he is just a yes man for the CONservatives., I work with PRIVATE services and the WCC Private services are NOT the answer in fact some i know have lost contracts due to not giving the service they were being paid for, also failing to supply the correct information when payments have been made and then the WCC have had to go to big lengths to recover the money and in some cases over £100,000, and some for just downright fraud, they have to be policed as its all in the name of profit, now what i have stated here are fact, you should check them out through FOI, it takes up to 40 days to get that info at more cost to the taxpayer?. green49
  • Score: 8

7:44am Thu 16 Jan 14

The Doosra says...

Landy44 wrote:
ermmmm. That headline is a rhetorical question right?

OF COURSE WCC could do without a Chief Exec. Frankly, Worcestershire could do without MOST of the rest of WCC too!!!!

If they shut up shop and let others provide replacement services on a commercial basis we'd all be MUCH better off in SO many ways!
Care to provide verifiable proof of a local government function, which has been outsourced, resulting in an improved service?
[quote][p][bold]Landy44[/bold] wrote: ermmmm. That headline is a rhetorical question right? OF COURSE WCC could do without a Chief Exec. Frankly, Worcestershire could do without MOST of the rest of WCC too!!!! If they shut up shop and let others provide replacement services on a commercial basis we'd all be MUCH better off in SO many ways![/p][/quote]Care to provide verifiable proof of a local government function, which has been outsourced, resulting in an improved service? The Doosra
  • Score: 7

8:44am Thu 16 Jan 14

IPDone says...

I believe that this issue and others will come to a head over the next couple of weeks when proposals are put forward to increase council tax.
It appears that the County Council are set to defy their own government and propose a council tax rise of 2%.
This is even after central government offered the Worcester Council £2million to continue to freeze council tax bills.
Before this proposal is put to the full council meeting next month all ways of savings have to be investergated which for once must include over the top salaries and golden hand shakes being paid out.
I believe that this issue and others will come to a head over the next couple of weeks when proposals are put forward to increase council tax. It appears that the County Council are set to defy their own government and propose a council tax rise of 2%. This is even after central government offered the Worcester Council £2million to continue to freeze council tax bills. Before this proposal is put to the full council meeting next month all ways of savings have to be investergated which for once must include over the top salaries and golden hand shakes being paid out. IPDone
  • Score: 6

9:26am Thu 16 Jan 14

green49 says...

The next council meeting will not be deciding on the cuts to us all, that is being decided by a panel of 3 the previous day,

I TOLD YOU ALL ITS A SNEAKY UNDERHAND ALREADY DECIDED DEAL DONE?

As a taxpayer i will be grilling my local councillor as to what is going on behind closed doors and i call for HARDMAN TO GO, its decietful, and maybe bordering on illeagle practice?
The next council meeting will not be deciding on the cuts to us all, that is being decided by a panel of 3 the previous day, I TOLD YOU ALL ITS A SNEAKY UNDERHAND ALREADY DECIDED DEAL DONE? As a taxpayer i will be grilling my local councillor as to what is going on behind closed doors and i call for HARDMAN TO GO, its decietful, and maybe bordering on illeagle practice? green49
  • Score: 5

9:32am Thu 16 Jan 14

green49 says...

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader, said: “The rate we are looking to pay is already one of the lowest.

“What Labour wants to do is bizarre, it’s the kind of thing that does councils no good and I think the average person in the street thinks we do need a chief executive.

“Wiltshire Council is struggling (without a chief executive) and it’s not something I’d propose we do.”


CARE TO COMMENT ON THE OTHERS??????
No as Hardman only highlighted the one that suited his point.

Jobs for the boys, again.
Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader, said: “The rate we are looking to pay is already one of the lowest. “What Labour wants to do is bizarre, it’s the kind of thing that does councils no good and I think the average person in the street thinks we do need a chief executive. “Wiltshire Council is struggling (without a chief executive) and it’s not something I’d propose we do.” CARE TO COMMENT ON THE OTHERS?????? No as Hardman only highlighted the one that suited his point. Jobs for the boys, again. green49
  • Score: 4

9:40am Thu 16 Jan 14

denon says...

The Doosra said
Care to provide verifiable proof of a local government function, which has been outsourced, resulting in an improved service?

Well bin collection in Wychavon much better since it was privatised
Leisure centres in Wychavon much better since privatised
The Doosra said Care to provide verifiable proof of a local government function, which has been outsourced, resulting in an improved service? Well bin collection in Wychavon much better since it was privatised Leisure centres in Wychavon much better since privatised denon
  • Score: 4

10:04am Thu 16 Jan 14

Letterman says...

This is now an excellent opportunity for many council services to be outsourced to and run by private companies. Worcestershire county council have shown for many many years that they are incapable of delivering many services efficiently, correctly and safely so why not now give the private sector a chance?

Already some council services are 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 from Worcestershire which includes massive successes like Worcester Bosch, Mazak, University of Worcester and Webbs garden centre, and there have been improvements in the way these highway services are provided compared to when the council was running the show. The Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership should now be tasked with managing and delivering many more council services.

Other examples where privatisation, or something similar, has worked? Look at Tudor Grange Academy, which has been transformed beyond recognition. And looking further afield, Herefordshire's highways department are effectively privatised and massive improvements have been seen.

Let us not kid ourselves. We all know deep down that the private sector work in a far more effective, efficient and cost effective manner with better work practices and ethics, compared to councils. Privatisation will also see a much needed reduction in staff numbers and lower salaries compared to the private sector, while we'd see an initial saving of close to £1m if we dispense with Trish Haines and the directors below her.
This is now an excellent opportunity for many council services to be outsourced to and run by private companies. Worcestershire county council have shown for many many years that they are incapable of delivering many services efficiently, correctly and safely so why not now give the private sector a chance? Already some council services are 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 from Worcestershire which includes massive successes like Worcester Bosch, Mazak, University of Worcester and Webbs garden centre, and there have been improvements in the way these highway services are provided compared to when the council was running the show. The Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership should now be tasked with managing and delivering many more council services. Other examples where privatisation, or something similar, has worked? Look at Tudor Grange Academy, which has been transformed beyond recognition. And looking further afield, Herefordshire's highways department are effectively privatised and massive improvements have been seen. Let us not kid ourselves. We all know deep down that the private sector work in a far more effective, efficient and cost effective manner with better work practices and ethics, compared to councils. Privatisation will also see a much needed reduction in staff numbers and lower salaries compared to the private sector, while we'd see an initial saving of close to £1m if we dispense with Trish Haines and the directors below her. Letterman
  • Score: 0

10:16am Thu 16 Jan 14

F1 Dave says...

Councilor Adrian Hardman is a disgrace as a leader of WCC
The chief executive Haines is a disgrace, appointed an Assistant Chief Executive to do her work!
Both played there part in appointing an Assistant Chief Executive (behind closed doors)
WCC is top loaded; the work force is being outsourced. At a staff meeting Patrick Birch (Head of services) was ask why WCC is outsourcing functions that will not save the Tax payer any money. His reply was that it is policy.
This is shocking as Adrian Hardman has been saying that outsourcing of services is to save money.
WCC are just cutting Jobs not saving money, by the end of this cull the staffing levels will be down to about 2500 form 5000. That is a very big loss of jobs in Worcestershire
Councilor Adrian Hardman is a disgrace as a leader of WCC The chief executive Haines is a disgrace, appointed an Assistant Chief Executive to do her work! Both played there part in appointing an Assistant Chief Executive (behind closed doors) WCC is top loaded; the work force is being outsourced. At a staff meeting Patrick Birch (Head of services) was ask why WCC is outsourcing functions that will not save the Tax payer any money. His reply was that it is policy. This is shocking as Adrian Hardman has been saying that outsourcing of services is to save money. WCC are just cutting Jobs not saving money, by the end of this cull the staffing levels will be down to about 2500 form 5000. That is a very big loss of jobs in Worcestershire F1 Dave
  • Score: 5

2:19pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Jabbadad says...

Worcestershire county Council are well along the road to privatisation of all servcies with their wish to be commissioners only, And have been outsourcing jobs for some years now.
But while I read the moans about Trish Haines salary, she really does have a very important job, Where I am fearfull is that if she goes and all power will go to Adrian Hardman and the Tories, can you imagine them and their sponsers rubbing their hands together with glee knowing that there are £ hundreds of Millions to be allocated by these Politicians.
GOD HELP US.
Worcestershire county Council are well along the road to privatisation of all servcies with their wish to be commissioners only, And have been outsourcing jobs for some years now. But while I read the moans about Trish Haines salary, she really does have a very important job, Where I am fearfull is that if she goes and all power will go to Adrian Hardman and the Tories, can you imagine them and their sponsers rubbing their hands together with glee knowing that there are £ hundreds of Millions to be allocated by these Politicians. GOD HELP US. Jabbadad
  • Score: 5

2:25pm Thu 16 Jan 14

green49 says...

Different planet Letterman, almost all the private services i have dealt with have been an expensive mistake, poor quality care, poor quality training,poor value and sometimes fraud against the taxpayer and WCC still have to police it all, and all at the exxpense of the tax payer, STOP blowing the Private sector horn, its profit over service.

I am not saying all the services are like that but most the ones i have come across have been like that, its just pure false economy to go private and as for the IT will be cheaper, well anyone ever seen prices go down???
Different planet Letterman, almost all the private services i have dealt with have been an expensive mistake, poor quality care, poor quality training,poor value and sometimes fraud against the taxpayer and WCC still have to police it all, and all at the exxpense of the tax payer, STOP blowing the Private sector horn, its profit over service. I am not saying all the services are like that but most the ones i have come across have been like that, its just pure false economy to go private and as for the IT will be cheaper, well anyone ever seen prices go down??? green49
  • Score: 3

5:00pm Thu 16 Jan 14

IPDone says...

This is shaping up in to a interesting debate regarding could Worcester County Council do without a Chief Executive or not.
People no longer have to relay on statements Councillor Hardman makes like what the average person in the street thinks, or what green49 thinks happens behind doors.
We are now well and truly in the 21 century with commutation channels only dreamed of a few years ago which allow us all to make decisions based entirely on factual information and not someone opinions.
That said at the time I posted this comment the poll recorded >
83% in favour of yes or give it a try, and only 13% no.
My view let democracy prevail.
This is shaping up in to a interesting debate regarding could Worcester County Council do without a Chief Executive or not. People no longer have to relay on statements Councillor Hardman makes like what the average person in the street thinks, or what green49 thinks happens behind doors. We are now well and truly in the 21 century with commutation channels only dreamed of a few years ago which allow us all to make decisions based entirely on factual information and not someone opinions. That said at the time I posted this comment the poll recorded > 83% in favour of yes or give it a try, and only 13% no. My view let democracy prevail. IPDone
  • Score: 2

11:31pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Landy44 says...

The Doosra wrote:
Landy44 wrote:
ermmmm. That headline is a rhetorical question right?

OF COURSE WCC could do without a Chief Exec. Frankly, Worcestershire could do without MOST of the rest of WCC too!!!!

If they shut up shop and let others provide replacement services on a commercial basis we'd all be MUCH better off in SO many ways!
Care to provide verifiable proof of a local government function, which has been outsourced, resulting in an improved service?
I'm afraid you've missed the point. "Outsourcing" is not what I'm advocating. The fact these services should never have been provided by the council in the first place is beside the point. Government/councils take your money at the threat of serious consequences then spendi/waste it in ways you never agreed to. In the process they create more problems due to the law of unintended consequences,which they then attempt to resolve through more taxes and more spending. Lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum.

I'm suggesting greater individual responsibility and an emphasis on community and a truly free market.
[quote][p][bold]The Doosra[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Landy44[/bold] wrote: ermmmm. That headline is a rhetorical question right? OF COURSE WCC could do without a Chief Exec. Frankly, Worcestershire could do without MOST of the rest of WCC too!!!! If they shut up shop and let others provide replacement services on a commercial basis we'd all be MUCH better off in SO many ways![/p][/quote]Care to provide verifiable proof of a local government function, which has been outsourced, resulting in an improved service?[/p][/quote]I'm afraid you've missed the point. "Outsourcing" is not what I'm advocating. The fact these services should never have been provided by the council in the first place is beside the point. Government/councils take your money at the threat of serious consequences then spendi/waste it in ways you never agreed to. In the process they create more problems due to the law of unintended consequences,which they then attempt to resolve through more taxes and more spending. Lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum. I'm suggesting greater individual responsibility and an emphasis on community and a truly free market. Landy44
  • Score: 0

11:04am Sat 18 Jan 14

The Doosra says...

Landy44 wrote:
The Doosra wrote:
Landy44 wrote:
ermmmm. That headline is a rhetorical question right?

OF COURSE WCC could do without a Chief Exec. Frankly, Worcestershire could do without MOST of the rest of WCC too!!!!

If they shut up shop and let others provide replacement services on a commercial basis we'd all be MUCH better off in SO many ways!
Care to provide verifiable proof of a local government function, which has been outsourced, resulting in an improved service?
I'm afraid you've missed the point. "Outsourcing" is not what I'm advocating. The fact these services should never have been provided by the council in the first place is beside the point. Government/councils take your money at the threat of serious consequences then spendi/waste it in ways you never agreed to. In the process they create more problems due to the law of unintended consequences,which they then attempt to resolve through more taxes and more spending. Lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum.

I'm suggesting greater individual responsibility and an emphasis on community and a truly free market.
Free markets only exist in Taxpayer Alliance literature and in the febrile imagination of some Tory party policy wonks. They require consumers to act rationally at all times with perfect knowledge of all available goods and services and the costs thereof.
[quote][p][bold]Landy44[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Doosra[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Landy44[/bold] wrote: ermmmm. That headline is a rhetorical question right? OF COURSE WCC could do without a Chief Exec. Frankly, Worcestershire could do without MOST of the rest of WCC too!!!! If they shut up shop and let others provide replacement services on a commercial basis we'd all be MUCH better off in SO many ways![/p][/quote]Care to provide verifiable proof of a local government function, which has been outsourced, resulting in an improved service?[/p][/quote]I'm afraid you've missed the point. "Outsourcing" is not what I'm advocating. The fact these services should never have been provided by the council in the first place is beside the point. Government/councils take your money at the threat of serious consequences then spendi/waste it in ways you never agreed to. In the process they create more problems due to the law of unintended consequences,which they then attempt to resolve through more taxes and more spending. Lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum. I'm suggesting greater individual responsibility and an emphasis on community and a truly free market.[/p][/quote]Free markets only exist in Taxpayer Alliance literature and in the febrile imagination of some Tory party policy wonks. They require consumers to act rationally at all times with perfect knowledge of all available goods and services and the costs thereof. The Doosra
  • Score: 1

1:53pm Mon 20 Jan 14

themooman says...

I completely agree - the chief exec should be paid far more than £150'000. Its scandalous WCC are offering such a low wage
I completely agree - the chief exec should be paid far more than £150'000. Its scandalous WCC are offering such a low wage themooman
  • Score: 1

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