The news that Penny Thompson is to move on from Brighton & Hove Council is not a great shock. It was something that was predicted over a year ago by someone who I respect who suggested that if either Blue or Red Parties replaced the Greens, then Ms Thompson would be looking for pastures new. What is surprising if it is true is the size or indeed the existence of a golden goodbye which the BBC is suggesting is £269,000, effectively £1 for each man women and child in the city. Clearly this is a very costly way for the new Labour Administration to achieve change within the organisation. I would personally find it very hard to sleep at night if I had been tempted to accept such a huge sum for the termination of my own contract. The next time Labour promise to increase the sums going to causes which are dear to their hearts and my own, I will find it difficult to believe that they are serious. The list of short term CEOs in the City Council is beginning to sound like a roll call for a very bad disaster movie. From the day that Glynn Jones left about 15 years ago we appear to have had Panter, McArthy, Bailey, Baradell and now Thompson.
I recall one of the first meetings I had with Penny Thompson when she explained to the group I was part of, that prior to accepting her appointment, she had accepted reassurances from Labour and Conservative groups that they would support her appointment and work with her. That appears to have fallen very flat, at our expense. We deserve some openness and honesty from our political leaders. The average football team appears to keep hold of its leaders longer than we do here in Brighton & Hove.