Jan 13 2014

Chief Exec Post Axed – Challenge Panel Agrees with Council Leader

harrow_council_logoHarrow Council has published the report of the Challenge Panel into the deletion of the role of Chief Executive of the Council.

In summary, it says:

In general terms we agree with the Leader of the Council with regard to the need for change – these are unprecedented times and the old ways of delivering savings don’t necessarily work any more. Increasingly, we are forced to look at the overall function, structures and direction of the organisation rather than simply taking percentage cuts from individual departmental budgets.

Having said this, we would suggest that current circumstances may have actually increased the need for a senior independent management position which can identify strategic direction and drive change through for the authority. We feel that combination of service delivery role and corporate leadership could create confusion in this regard.

Having expressed our understanding with regard for the need for change, we would suggest that the proposal to delete the post of Chief Executive has lacked the level of engagement which we feel such a significant decision requires, we would urge that the organisation considers how any such similar decision is reached in the future and makes this as inclusive a process as possible.

We would also urge the Leader and her Cabinet to ensure that the implications of the decision to change are closely monitored in terms of the effectiveness of the managerial structures, the impact on services and the reputation of the authority.

You can read the entire report here.


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  1. Harrow Dude

    I have to question why this article has what can only be considered as a misleading title.
    My understanding is the panel agreed that there was a need for change within the senior management structure BUT it did not agree that the removal of the Chief Exec role was the best way to go. In any event the panels view was that there should be no decision made until the residents have spoken and nominated their chosen party at the forth-coming elections.
    For those that have chosen to read the entire report you will see that Susie has chosen to reference other boroughs that have deleted the role of CE to support her disordered proposal but what needs to highlighted is that;

    1 Those boroughs had proper consultation.
    2 None of the boroughs referenced are London boroughs
    3 The information supporting NOT deleting the Chief Exec seems to have been over looked
    4 Susie wants to be recorded as the first woman to have achieved everything since Mary Secoul, Gaohou, Anne Parish, Ann E Dunwoody, Jeannette, Cleopatra, Lady Astor and Boudica.

    I would ask Susie to recollect on who gave her the title of Sheriff, because in the Westerns I have recently watched when opposition rode in to town the Sheriff was the first on to bite the dust.

    Read the report people…

  2. j p hobbs

    Well he was a wast of space did you ever try to get hin to reply to an F O I , Bob Blackman did and got no reply i believe , so did i he ignored me for many months i only got a reply the day after i put his email on Face book with a little snippet .

  3. Harrow Dude

    I can honestly say that I have never had any trouble with FOI requests to Harrow Council. The point I was making is that having read the report I find the title misleading.

  4. Bill Phillips

    Well said Harrow Dude. The change in the report refers to the general need for continual change in order to meet the challenge of the cuts imposed by this government.

    There was significant change in the first 3 years of the Labour administration. The council have shed a large number of staff including many of the senior management team. This was done within a partnership of councillors and senior officers led by the CEO, Michael Lockwood.

    What has now been ineptly imposed on the council by “Susie” is a structure that was introduced without proper consultation that will make councillor and senior officer partnership working difficult or impossible and will ossify the structure imposed during a period that we particularly need cooperation and flexibility.

    Cllr Bill Phillips
    Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Challenge Panel, looking into the deletion of the CEO.

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