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  • "
    Letterman wrote:
    The whole make up and structure of Worcestershire county council needs a **** good shake up asap, otherwise we'll not only continue to receive poor and inefficient services from so many poor performing staff, but they'll continue to take us hardworking tax payers for a ride too.

    It's not right seeing how much councillors receive from the public purse, but what's even more scandalous is how much council staff receive, particularly the top tiers of management. Trish Haines receives £176k per year. Below her are 5 directors on £112,998 to £124,296 a year. Below these directors are 17 departments heads and the assistant chief executive earning between £75,267 and £97,478 a year. We are shelling out, potentially, around £2.5m just for the salary of 24 staff, which clearly isn't right! And when you consider there are probably a couple of thousand of staff employed at various levels below these department heads who are also on relatively high salaries, it's apparent that a lot of our council taxes are going on salaries alone, and that's before you consider you consider the payment of expenses, bonuses and perks to these staff.

    Imagine how many services could be saved or improved if these staff either took a proper, real world pay cut or more posts were abolished, especially those from the top tier of management. Do we need 5 directors, 1 assistant chief executive and 17 department heads? It's time the council look at the private sector for leaner and more efficient tiers of management, working practices and cost savings. I bet the likes of Worcester Bosch who employ more people than the council don't have this many tiers of management or so many senior staff.
    We do need quality staff to lead our council services. To get and keep them it may well be that high salaries have to be paid. The way to save lots on senior management is to merge the County and six Districts together into a Worcestershire Unitary Authority. There would also be other efficiencies and a massive reduction in the number of councillors."
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Bid for County Hall to 'go without' a chief executive is thrown out

Trish Haines, the current county council chief executive

Trish Haines, the current county council chief executive

First published in News Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

CALLS for Worcestershire County Council to go without a chief executive once Trish Haines retires have been thrown out – despite 23 politicians backing it.

During a crunch vote at County Hall the entire Labour group, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and several independents all backed a bid for the authority to employ nobody at all from the spring.

In the end, 27 councillors from the controlling Conservative group had to team up to reject the motion, saying it would be “ludicrous” to agree to it.

Mrs Haines, who earns £176,000 a year, is retiring by May and adverts are currently out searching for a replacement, who will be paid £151,000 rising to £170,000 by 2017.

The opposition parties said due to unprecedented cuts at County Hall, with £98 million due to be slashed off budgets by 2017, they should leave the role unfilled.

Instead, the current chief executive responsibilities could be shared among the directors, given to leader Councillor Adrian Hardman, or handed to one director rewarded with a promotion.

It was laughed out by the Tories, who said the request could cause chaos and leave staff clueless about who was really in charge.

Coun Hardman said: “The reason I do think we need a chief executive more than ever is because we do live in extraordinary times, and that requires someone strong to be in charge.

“We did consider sharing a chief executive with another council but quickly discounted it because there was nobody we could see fitting in easily, and we also looked at the ‘great leader’ model, but I decided against that one as I suspect I haven’t the judgement or patience to pull it off.

“I struggle to think of any great organisations or companies who operate without a chief executive.”

Councillor Marcus Hart, the cabinet member for health and well being, said: “We need someone at the helm of an organisation which spends £300 million of public money on services in our county, the idea we could run without one is nonsensical.

“Do we have schools without head teachers, operations in hospitals with no surgeons, planes with no pilots? If you follow the logic through, where does it end?”

Councillor Tom Wells, from the Liberal Democrat group, said: “I wouldn’t normally propose something like this but we live in extraordinary times and are imposing draconian cuts on the most vulnerable members of society.”

Labour supported his bid to leave the role vacant and review it periodically, which was backed by all the opposition councillors, but it was defeated by just four votes.

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