The four directors appointed to Brighton and Hove City Council’s £125k “Status Quo” directorates have been announced – and all are external, male, candidates.
The new strategic directors of space, resources, communities and people were recruited via a £14,000 campaign £7,000 of which was spent on a controversial website asking fans of the rock band Status Quo not to apply.
They are Geoff Raw from the London Development Agency, Charlie Stewart from West Sussex County Council, David Murray from the London borough of Newham and Terry Parkin from the London borough of Southwark. Click here for fuller biographies.
The existing directors, Di Smith of children’s services, Scott Marshall of housing, Jenny Rowlands of environment, Denise D’Souza of adult services, and Alex Bailey of strategy, will now be entitled to redundancy payouts.
Former chief executive Alan McCarthy, who was replaced by current chief executive John Barradell, was given a £500,000 payout when he departed in
Both the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats refused to take part in the selection process in protest at the scale of the salaries and the timing of the restructure.
Green councillor Ben Duncan said on his blog: “So far we just don’t know what the impact on local services will be – at a council meeting last week we learned that this year’s budgets would be reduced by about £3.5 million – but we were given no details at all about which services – or, more importantly, people, would be affected.
“Can it really be right to spend about a fifth of that sum on new strategic directors – even without considering the redundancy cost of the curent directors, none of whom will keep their jobs?”
Liberal Democrat leader Paul Elgood said on his blog: “This really is the night of the long knives. The cost of bringing in these four is outsiderable and making other respected directors redundant will bring the cost into the many hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not a million pounds over the next 12 months.”
But chief executive John Barradell remains confident this is the right course of action. He said: “This new team will be facing the challenge of making sure that the council continues to deliver even better services during a much tougher financial time.
“These four new strategic directors will build on the excellent work of directors and colleagues within the council to deliver more of what residents really need – first class services that enhance the city’s reputation as a fantastic place to live, work and visit.”