This Wednesday saw the end of the second phase of the Senior Management Restructure with Member Panels appointing Maryellen Salter to the role of Director of Assurance (and Monitoring Officer) and Dawn Wakeling to the role of Director of Adults and Communities (and statutory Director of Adult Social Services). Both Dawn and Maryellen will now work with current post holders to ensure a smooth transition in the new year.
I am sure you will join me in congratulating them and wishing them every success.
Perhaps more significantly, Members also interviewed and appointed Andrew Travers as interim Chief Executive. Andrew will take up his appointment on 1 December following my departure. It’s appropriate that we therefore share this message.
My first comment, obviously, has to be to repeat that this is an exciting time to become interim Chief Executive in Barnet. The Remuneration Committee that appointed me coincided to the day with the arrival of final tenders from the two NSCSO bidders and I will take up the post of Chief Executive a week before Cabinet debates final proposals. Supervising the changes that both NSCSO and DRS will bring to the council, to the borough and to staff (both those of you who will TUPE to the new providers and those remaining within the council) will obviously be my priority over the coming months.
Next week will see the publication of Cabinet papers that include the next stage in our medium term financial plan. For the first time, this will take the council beyond the current central government spending review and we are predicting that there will be further reductions in the council’s income under the next review. This means that I cannot simply be the ‘continuity Chief Executive’. This council is in a better place than many others because we looked over the horizon and faced up to the difficult challenges coming towards local government. I suspect this week’s announcement from Birmingham gives an early indication of the alternatives.
In practice, this means we will need to accelerate the Wave 2 projects in the One Barnet programme and we will publish details of proposals for waste and street scene in Cabinet papers next week. The changes that NSCSO and DRS will bring will mean that the definition of public sector will to some extent change in the borough as it will encompass those who move to private sector employers. However, the definition of public service will not change and I am delighted to be given this opportunity to work with so many people for whom this remains the central tenet of their working life.
I have higlighted the key passage. In the first (in red) It is clear from the use of the words will bring that Mr Travers expects the nodding sheep in the Council chamber and the Leader to do his bidding and implement One Barnet Outsourcing, regardless of the risks.
The second (in Blue), Mr Travers announces policy. It is not the role of officers to do this. It is the job of Councillors to set policy and officers to implement it.
It seems that the new interim CEO doesn't understand his job, or the way the Council is supposed to make decisions. I am appalled.
I will be drafting a communique, possibly with my fellow bloggers, to all 63 Barnet Councillors asking their opinion of Mr Travers decision to grab what vestage of credibility and power they once had.
Pray tell me Council Leader Cornelius, what do you think of this statement?