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Jul 24 2014

Cllr Dave: Help Wanted, Apply Within

help_wantedIt would seem that Cllr Dave, part-time Leader of Harrow Council, has more or less admitted that he needs help running the council, as he’s gone out to consultation on whether or not to bring back a Chief Executive. Regular readers will recall that the post was axed by Cllr Susan Hall during her administration, saving residents over a million pounds across the next four years.

Of course, Cllr Hall didn’t need a Chief Executive cluttering up the place, so it was only right that the position was deleted, but it’s clear now that Cllr Dave does need help – which when you’re busy on the building site for three days of the working week, it’s not surprising that you need a hand with running the borough. That said, Mike Lockwood at least had the decency to talk to iharrow.com from time to time, which seems to be at odds with the mushroom-style relationship that the Labour administration is forming.

The Council (which, incidentally, is still burying it’s head in the sand and pretending iharrow doesn’t exist) says: “Around 5,000 council staff, local authority school employees, trade union members and councillors will be canvassed on their opinions…” – you’ll notice the absence of any consultation with residents there. Which, is a bit rich, since they’re picking up the bill for it.

When Cllr Dave announced this review of the “senior management structure”, which he promised to do within the first month (so he’s already broken that promise, as it’s now five weeks in, which speaks volumes about his respect for residents or his counting abilities), residents probably thought he’d be looking at cutting some of the dead wood from the tree, not inviting more of it.

Cllr Dave’s manifesto said it was all about helping people back into work: residents probably didn’t think it referred to bringing in a new Chief Executive at £180,000+ per year. Read more about this appalling waste of money here.

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14 comments

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  1. Concerned Harrovian

    When is councillor Dave going to make a decision about putting meetings on line so residents can see what is being decided on their behalf?

  2. Concerned Harrovian

    How do you help people back to work by supporting strikes?

  3. Mike N

    Oh great. Not only do we have a council leader that is so interested in the job that he only does it part time, but is now thinking about spending over £180000 bringing back a chief executive.
    The council leader thinks so much of the residents of Harrow, who after all, not only pay his council wages but will also be funding a new chief exec. that he can’t even be bothered to ask us what we think.
    Let’s hope that when the 5000 or so council employees are consulted they think long and hard. They should think…..there’s me on 20 grand a year sweeping the streets, working in a school or looking after the vulnerable and they want to give someone the equivalent of 9 years of my salary to do a job that we have managed to do without since last year.
    After all £180000 is more than the basic of the Prime Minister, the Commissioner of the Met Police and others who run much larger organisations than Harrow Council.
    What does a chief exec really do……he’s the figure head, he makes decision and attends lots and lots of meetings! But I’m sure that all the work for these decision and meetings are put together by staff underneath him.
    A cheaper alternative would be to give whoever has taken over the work left by the last chief a couple of grand extra a year in recognition of all their hard work.
    First we are told that because of the ‘nasty’ current government, Harrow Council has to save £75 million over the next few years and to do this we have to cut services. Street cleaning may have to be done less often etc. Hang on! Most of the street of Harrow are littered already even with regular cleaning. It’s now the norm to walk along pavement strewn with paper, takeaway wrapper, bottles and drink cans. What on earth will Harrow be like if they are cleaned less frequently?
    We are now being told that Harrow Council have enough money in their coffers to bring back a Chief Exec. Incredible!
    It just shows that those in charge don’t give a ‘diddly squat’ about the residents and tax payers of Harrow.

    1. Honest & Open

      Well said Mike N……and a big thank you to Paul for bringing this to the residents attention. Eric Pickles Secretary of state for communities and local govt stated a while back, that there is no longer a need for chief executives and their over inflated salaries. A quick search has just shown that Brentwood, Wiltshire, and Rugby Council are run without a Chief exec at the helm, and there are probably more?. Susan Hall proved that Harrow Council could run smoothly without Michael Lockwood, so why bring one back now? It can surely only be for the reasons Paul has given in the article above. The fact that David Perry is consulting everyone bar the tax paying residents, is an absolute disgrace and morally wrong!
      I am finding it increasingly difficult to understand the mentality of David Perry and the current administration, and their obvious disdain for us the residents. Putting politics aside and your political persuasion, all the residents want is an open, honest, and fair system for all. But no, Harrow are looking to put up the council tax again, bring back a post that would have saved us over a million pounds over 4 years, and to but the boot in further do not even have scrutiny in their cabinet meetings, and are yet to agree to stream council meetings as many other Councils do!
      David Perry himself said he would interact with residents on here…….so far a deafening silence!!!!!!! I have asked questions on here of David Perry before, but no answers are forthcoming?????
      The fact that as leader of the Council he only works 2 days a week cannot be right, and would question why he accepted this role? It is becoming ever clearer as time marches on, that he has not got the time to fulfill this role properly, and should hand it over to somebody who has?
      I am personally so upset by the lack of respect for the residents shown so far, and am more than happy to voice that I do not want a new Chief Exec installed at Harrow. If this does happen without any consultation with the residents, then I shall be writing to the Govt and Eric Pickles and will look to start a petition, and even a protest outside the civic centre. It is time for us to stand up and be counted! Love or loathe Susan Hall at least she interacted with us and got the job done!

  4. Concerned Harrovian

    Paul

    I think you said that Councillor Dave is only working two days a week. Does any one know what amount he is paid as council leader? We could then calculate how much he earns for his two days on a weekly basis.

    I comprehend that he does not want to risk leaving his day job in case he loses the leadership and would then be unemployed but in that case he should not have taken the position of leader.

    I wonder how many of those people on strike would like to earn a nice sum of money for two days employment a week?

    Will the chief executive, once appointed, be in a position to make a decision about putting council meetings on line as there appears that no one else is capable of making that decision?

    it looks as if Paul will have to resort to FOIs again in order that residents and workers in Harrow can find out what is going on in Harrow. Even that might be unsuccessful as Paul has said that the Administration will not engage with him. I would have thought that community engagement was part of their remit. At the moment it seems as if the council is being run like a secret society where voters are unable to access information.

    I think there is probably an administration dictionary with words that explain council speak e.g.

    Voters – plebs that vote for you but can be ignored

    Council Tax – other people’s money to be spend on projects that no one wants.

    I am sure that other commenters on this site will be able to come up with word definitions to be included in the council administration dictionary.

  5. Concerned Harrovian

    Another word for the council administration dictionary:

    Apology – We are sorry to tell you that the council is doing its best!

  6. Mike N

    No thoughts from the left yet………So come on Harrow Dude, N Lathia or Willy Stoodley let us know if you think this is a good idea or not !!

    1. Harrow Dude

      Mike if this means we will have someone who will achieve £75 million in savings and actually listening to their staff, then yes I think it’s a good idea.

      FYI just because I do not park my bus on Susie’s forecourt does not mean I am from the left.

      Nice use of the fork by the way…

  7. Concerned Harrovian

    Why does Cllr Perry not bother to reply to issues raise on this site.? When will council meetings be online? Ricky123 has been poised to help out with this for so long he must be getting cramp.There are many consultations but if the answers are not what this administration wants they will be ignored.

    Maybe I am doing Cllr Perry an injustice because although he only works as leader on Tuesdays and Thursdays perhaps on some of the other days he is attending courses on communication skills.

    1. Harrow Dude

      Cabinet papers show that public and Councillors questions were audio recorded and will be available on the Council website.

  8. PraxisReform

    Perhaps we’ll see the return of Thaya Idaikkadar in the form of Chief Executive

    1. Willy Stoodley

      Now THERE’S a thought!! I’ll just go let him know!

  9. Rupika Dave

    Thank you Paul for bringing this to our attention. I fear that this new administration intended to bring this in through the back door without letting us know. I am outraged to hear that the position of Chief Executive is back on the cards. We cant afford one and we don’t need one! Why is there no consultation with the tax paying public? So much for Dave saying ” we are all about the people of Harrow having a say in their Borough” – What a load of tosh. All PR spin and no respect or consideration for the people of Harrow. if he isn’t capable of doing this job, why on earth did he take it? Well, here’s one to consider. Next time a Developer wants to put up housing in the area, how about they only consult their staff and their consultants and dispense with the public consultation altogether? After all what good for the goose…? If Honest and Open wants to start a petition, you can count me in. I am sick of being dismissed by this council. I PAY MY TAXES AND I WANT MY OPINION HEARD.

  10. Willy Stoodley

    Rupika – if you or any of you for that matter want your opinions heard then why don’t any of you bother to table questions for Dave’s administration at either the next full Council meeting or at the next Cabinet meeting? At the last full Council meeting there was ONLY ONE question asked by the public. God talk about give Dave’s lot the impression they’re loved to bits due to the utter absence of criticism! If you lot don’t get your backsides down there they will simply carry on regardless. Remember the park gates locking u-turn by ILG? We listened and acted accordingly. Remember the dog-litter bins removal u-turn by the ILG? We listened and acted accordingly. Remember the Tory drive to clean up the Borough? They listened and acted accordingly. But silence cannot be listened to…

    And no, now that Susie’s proved you don’t need a C.E. I don’t approve of re-instating the post, which kind of makes the disgustingly high salary irrelevant. None of the ILG cabinet had jobs and that enabled us to give our roles 24/7 attention. However I think you’ll find that most of the previous Tory cabinet and most of the new Labour cabinet have full-time jobs so don’t forget to add those salaries to the £20K allowance for a Portfolio Holder, a £30K allowance for the leader AND the £8K basic allowance for being a Councillor in the first place! There must be an awful lot of 40% tax paying going on out there. Socialists? LOL!! Another reason why I left them…

    And as for that ONE question…it was asked by ME!

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