Council boss-sharing scheme is being railroaded through, says independent group leader

Julian Roskams: "railroaded".

Julian Roskams: "railroaded".

First published in News

A PROPOSAL for a joint chief executive for Malvern Hills and Wychavon district councils is being railroaded through, says one leading councillor.

The proposal is coming up before Malvern Hills District Council in Tuesday, June 24, when members are being asked to approve it, starting from October this year.

The report, from David Hughes and Paul Middlebrough, the leaders of Malvern Hills and Wychavon, says there is a "strong business case" for a shared chief executive, which they say say will save at least £60,000 annually.

But cllr Julian Roskams, who leads the independent Democratic group on MHDC, says the move will lead to a loss of jobs and democratic accountability.

He said: "I'm disturbed by the way that it's being pushed through without proper consideration of the alternatives. The government is railroading this through, and we have not been given a proper chance to consider this proposal against possible alternatives. It's what happened over the introduction of wheelie bins and it's happening again

"I fear it will lead to loss of jobs in Malvern, and Malvern will become a hub or outpost, controlled from Wychavon . What will happen if Malvern Hills and Wychavon are controlled by different political parties?"

However, the leaders' report says there is a "long and successful record" of the two councils sharing services.

"Each council will continue to exercise their right to set and deliver its own agenda," says the report. "The sharing of a chief executive/managing director would not jeopardise this position but where there is agreement to a common agenda, sharing would offer the potential for a more efficient and effective delivery of that agenda."

Comments (14)

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9:53pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Ali.Cat says...

Is that Cllr Swinburn advertising Wiltshire farm foods ?
Is that Cllr Swinburn advertising Wiltshire farm foods ? Ali.Cat
  • Score: 1

10:34pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Casmal says...

What organisation in their right mind would only look at one option for saving money? One sniff of government money and they're off like a bear after honey, not realising they might be badly stung.

And what happens when the interests of Malvern and Wychavon conflict, as they have done in the SWDP. Does the shared CEO argue both sides at once?

There are other and better ways of saving money. A full assessment of staffing, proper restructuring, etc. How come we can suddenly do with a part-time, two day a week CEO. Does Mr Bocock sit twiddling his thumbs three days a week? If so, why hasn't this been picked up before and a proper restructuring exercise undertaken. Why wait until the grant is on offer from Govt.? And what happens if our council's bid is unsuccessful?

I have read the report going to council and there are no safeguards that will prevent services and admin gradually being transferred to be based at Wychavon. Indeed, there is nothing to stop the shared CEO being based there, and making rare visits to Malvern. Phone, email, text etc. is one thing, but there is no substitute for being present and experiencing what is going on.

I have also read that both Mr Bocock and the Wychavon MD, Mr Hegarty are happy with this. Now which employees are happy at being faced with redundancy? In my experience only those who want to take redundancy pay or early retirement with a golden handshake or both. So, is this the case here, are they both happy to go, or is one confident of staying and one wants to go? It all seems very strange to me.
What organisation in their right mind would only look at one option for saving money? One sniff of government money and they're off like a bear after honey, not realising they might be badly stung. And what happens when the interests of Malvern and Wychavon conflict, as they have done in the SWDP. Does the shared CEO argue both sides at once? There are other and better ways of saving money. A full assessment of staffing, proper restructuring, etc. How come we can suddenly do with a part-time, two day a week CEO. Does Mr Bocock sit twiddling his thumbs three days a week? If so, why hasn't this been picked up before and a proper restructuring exercise undertaken. Why wait until the grant is on offer from Govt.? And what happens if our council's bid is unsuccessful? I have read the report going to council and there are no safeguards that will prevent services and admin gradually being transferred to be based at Wychavon. Indeed, there is nothing to stop the shared CEO being based there, and making rare visits to Malvern. Phone, email, text etc. is one thing, but there is no substitute for being present and experiencing what is going on. I have also read that both Mr Bocock and the Wychavon MD, Mr Hegarty are happy with this. Now which employees are happy at being faced with redundancy? In my experience only those who want to take redundancy pay or early retirement with a golden handshake or both. So, is this the case here, are they both happy to go, or is one confident of staying and one wants to go? It all seems very strange to me. Casmal
  • Score: 2

8:30am Sat 21 Jun 14

THE FACTS says...

Hopefully it will affect jobs in Malvern ..... Malvern Hills Council senior management team.
The grade is not warranted by the work. Compare the roles and pay with the private sector and you will see: one third of the work, twice the pay, and 4 times the pension.
It is the pensions that cost us long after the employee has left.
... Esp. the fire service
Hopefully it will affect jobs in Malvern ..... Malvern Hills Council senior management team. The grade is not warranted by the work. Compare the roles and pay with the private sector and you will see: one third of the work, twice the pay, and 4 times the pension. It is the pensions that cost us long after the employee has left. ... Esp. the fire service THE FACTS
  • Score: 3

9:40am Sat 21 Jun 14

3thinker says...

Its actually not radical enough.

As local government is dredged, more services are privatised and there are increased pressures on future budgets it makes complete sense to merge all the District Councils and County Council to create a single Unitary Council for Worcestershire.

At a stroke the number of councillors and senior managers would be reduced and more savings generated from greater efficiencies (including getting away the party politicking and posturing that goes on within and between councils).
Its actually not radical enough. As local government is dredged, more services are privatised and there are increased pressures on future budgets it makes complete sense to merge all the District Councils and County Council to create a single Unitary Council for Worcestershire. At a stroke the number of councillors and senior managers would be reduced and more savings generated from greater efficiencies (including getting away the party politicking and posturing that goes on within and between councils). 3thinker
  • Score: 3

1:57pm Sat 21 Jun 14

THE FACTS says...

Yep You're right Unitary Council is required.
Yep You're right Unitary Council is required. THE FACTS
  • Score: 1

6:29pm Sat 21 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

I have to admit to being a supporter of A Unitary Authority, until recently in conversation with a local councillor it was pointed out that if Worcester were to consider this move with Wychavon a very CONservative stronghold then all political opposition would go and this would create a very undemocratic situation even worse than we have now. So knowing that we cannot trust the CONservatives where do we go?
I have to admit to being a supporter of A Unitary Authority, until recently in conversation with a local councillor it was pointed out that if Worcester were to consider this move with Wychavon a very CONservative stronghold then all political opposition would go and this would create a very undemocratic situation even worse than we have now. So knowing that we cannot trust the CONservatives where do we go? Jabbadad
  • Score: -1

7:43pm Sat 21 Jun 14

Paul Griffiths says...

@Jabbadad

PR for local councils, as in Scotland. http://goo.gl/QzTdxf
@Jabbadad PR for local councils, as in Scotland. http://goo.gl/QzTdxf Paul Griffiths
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Sat 21 Jun 14

3thinker says...

Theoretically all politicians are there to do what's best for their electorate. Not doing what's logical for party political reasons is gerrymandering. Most of the Mets have strong Labour majorities, but it doesn't mean they undermine local government and are undemocratic.
Theoretically all politicians are there to do what's best for their electorate. Not doing what's logical for party political reasons is gerrymandering. Most of the Mets have strong Labour majorities, but it doesn't mean they undermine local government and are undemocratic. 3thinker
  • Score: 0

12:10am Sun 22 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

Well sorry But I haven't met many if any politicians like that, unless they are independents.
Right Paul?
Well sorry But I haven't met many if any politicians like that, unless they are independents. Right Paul? Jabbadad
  • Score: -1

5:35pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Paul Griffiths says...

@Jabbadad

On the contrary, most politicians I know are motivated by a desire to give something back to their communities. Nor is there any intrinsic conflict between that and membership of a political party.
@Jabbadad On the contrary, most politicians I know are motivated by a desire to give something back to their communities. Nor is there any intrinsic conflict between that and membership of a political party. Paul Griffiths
  • Score: 1

9:24pm Sun 22 Jun 14

denon says...

Every one loves an independent don't they jabbabad. ala Amos
Every one loves an independent don't they jabbabad. ala Amos denon
  • Score: 0

10:17pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

denon please don't insult the true Independents by association with Amos over anything. In his background he was a CONservative and now hes back in all but in name, by selling the votes he was entrusted with by the Warndon voters.
denon please don't insult the true Independents by association with Amos over anything. In his background he was a CONservative and now hes back in all but in name, by selling the votes he was entrusted with by the Warndon voters. Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

10:23pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

I am sure that the councillors in Warwickshire take an oath of allegiance to their voters first, couldn't see that happening here.
Don't think Bayliss would allow that, well it wouldn't suit his politics anyway would it . Loyalty, Red, then Blue. Then What Nah.
I am sure that the councillors in Warwickshire take an oath of allegiance to their voters first, couldn't see that happening here. Don't think Bayliss would allow that, well it wouldn't suit his politics anyway would it . Loyalty, Red, then Blue. Then What Nah. Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

4:46pm Mon 23 Jun 14

denon says...

The independents are often the most self centred political bunch ...... Just look at their performance in Herefordshire, Shropshire , malvern hills. And they are only the local ones.

Herefordshire it's our county party could be classed as independent their past leader got done for going into councillors filing cabinets extracting confidential
papers from members of the public and using them for political pUrposes . Just the sort of non party politicians you don't want

Then there was Margaret layland"............
.purer than pure doesn't fit independents
The independents are often the most self centred political bunch ...... Just look at their performance in Herefordshire, Shropshire , malvern hills. And they are only the local ones. Herefordshire it's our county party could be classed as independent their past leader got done for going into councillors filing cabinets extracting confidential papers from members of the public and using them for political pUrposes . Just the sort of non party politicians you don't want Then there was Margaret layland"............ .purer than pure doesn't fit independents denon
  • Score: -1

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