Monday, 15 October 2012

A message to Barnet Council Staff

Many Barnet Council staff are asking questions about what direction the council will be taking, following the resignation of Mr Nick Walkley, the CEO. It is clear from Mr Walkleys resignation that he has no confidence in the One Barnet program. Barnet Council is the largest Borough Council in London and he has taken a pay cut to go to Haringey. He cites personal reasons. In football terms this would be like Joe Hart quitting the Champions, Manchester City and signing for Stockport County on the grounds that it was nearer his house and he'd get a  bit more fun stopping shots.

It has been confirmed to me that this move came as a surprise to both the leadership of the council and his fellow executives. Mr Walkley clearly doesnt' want the One Barnet fiasco on his CV. He can at least say "it didn't go wrong on my watch and I tried to warn the Leadership". For those exec's who are staying, sadly theior careers are about to go down the plughole. 

News reaches the Barnet Eye that Richard Cornelius is about to appoint the Deputy CEO Mr Andrew Travers,  a contractor on a "tax efficient" contract as CEO. No thought has been given to who will become section 151 officer. Presumably Mr Travers can't report to himself? We hear his contract will take him through as interim head until 2014. This means that Barnet wll not have a proper CEO until the next council elections. This srikes me as bizarre, but par for the course in Barnet.

It is the job of officers to advise councillors as to the most prudent policy. I would suggest that Mr Walkley's action is the most stark bit of advice imaginable. If you can't beat em, leg it !

By the way, Mr Walkley has caused a bit of a furore in joining Haringey Council. Many Labour councillors are rather upset at the move. I would suggest that they should be esctatic to get Mr Walkley. They say we learn by our mistrakes. This means he must be a genuis by now.

One rather intriguing titbit reached me, completely off record, so we will log it as title tattle. Apparently Council Leader Richard Cornelius was not exactly gutted to find Walkley had jumped.

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