19 month hiatus?

untitled (225)Its great news, that Brighton & Hove Councillors have selected Geoff Raw as the interim CEO for the Council. Geoff already had an extensive brief within the Council and so in terms of holding the organisation steady, he is an excellent choice. Geoff is also well liked by those inside and outside the organisation, although clearly not as well known as Penny was. However because of the inept way in which the Councillors have dealt with this issue it won’t be until September before the recruitment process gets underway for a permanent CEO. That means that assuming it takes 3 months for the process to take place, and a further 3 months notice for any external candidate to work out his or her notice, we may not have a new CEO in place until March 2016. A new CEO from outside the Council will want to review the organisation and make changes as well as deal with the first Labour budget since 2007 for our Council. If by this time next year the dust is beginning to settle in the Council, that would be a smooth transition by most standards. Then we will have the Summer when all of the Council is dealing with the holiday season, or on leave. So from May 2015 to September 2016 many of the opportunities to help our City Council to take the steps needed to respond to a new Government and its focus on sub regional reorganisation of local Government will have taken place with limited capacity on the part of a Council that should be playing a critical part, not just for the City itself, but for a much wider geography, possibly as far as the furthest borders of East and West Sussex. It is clear that the public and private sector partners in the City and beyond are bemused or even disturbed by the antics of the Labour Party here in Brighton & Hove. Many within the voluntary sector are also very uncomfortable. As Council Tax payers, all residents deserve some form of explanation of how the Council will recover from this self imposed hiatus. The Labour group have already made it clear they will not explain why they decided to dispense with a dedicated Public Servant at a cost of some £300k-£400k, the final amount will depend on the costs of the recruitment process and the new CEOs final pay rate. However whilst we and any candidates for Penny’s post deserve clarity of how the next few years will play out in the mind of the Council I suspect we won’t hear anything on that count either. We are simply expected to pay up and be grateful it was only one senior officer who lost their job!


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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