Mar 17 2013

Harrow Council CEO: 70 hours a week? Iron Man Mike’s Profile

mike_lockwoodMichael Lockwood, fondly known as Iron Man Mike when he worked at Elmbridge Borough Council, is reported to work 70 hours a week, if Harrow’s response a request under the Freedom on Information Act is to be believed. That’s an awful lot of hours, and, as The Telegraph asks, “Deeply impressive or mildly deranged?”

How do you fit 70 hours into a week? Junior doctors don’t work that many hours, although you could argue, at somewhat less than the £190,000 that Iron Man Mike takes home (plus £5.50 expenses in the 2010/11 financial year), perhaps that’s why.

Mike lives somewhere in the leafy stockbroker belt, just inside the M25 to the south-west of London, arriving in Harrow by train each morning, via Clapham Junction. We’ve heard he’s usually in by around 9.20 or so, which would mean he might well catch the 8.19 from Clapham Junction straight through to Harrow & Wealdstone, and is probably on the 17.59 home again. Assuming a ten-minute walk back to the station, he’s probably out the door by 17.45 – making about an eight and a half hour day in the office.

But not so – Iron Man Mike, probably clad in spandex, like to go for a run each lunchtime – to “…reduce the stress levels…” – round the back of the Civic Centre and into Harrow Rec. Figure in time for a shower in his office’s en-suite shower room, and he’s probably away from his desk for the best part of an hour and a half, which brings his working days down to seven hours a day.

Can he “work” on the train home? It’s about a 35-40 minute journey, and likely to be jam packed (at least, it was last time I went to Clapham Junction), so couple that with booting up a laptop, clutching his Blackberry and a latte (decaf, with soya?), it is, perhaps, unlikely that he’ll get anything done, other than a spot of reading.

Do that five times a week, and you reach a weekly total of 35 hours. So where do the other 35 hours come in? If we make the leap of faith, and this is staying quite widely into the area of guesswork, that he’s home by 7.00pm each night, has a spot of dinner, he might fit in three hours of work each night. That’s another 15 hours a week, bringing the total to 50 hours.

To reach the answer of 70 hours a week, he’d then have to work ten hours each on Saturday and Sunday. Doable? Believable? Let’s not forget, at 53 years old, Iron Man Mike is married, and has two children (age unknown).

Iron Man Mike’s possibly greatest achievement was to win Elmbridge the label of “Happiest Place to Live” if a 2006 survey is anything to go by. He is also proud that he managed to fix the problems with the regeneration and development of The Heart in Walton, where he said: “The Heart has to be my proudest achievement. So much work went on behind the scenes, and I put everything in to trying to make that come off, despite the fact that developers kept walking away.” Harrow resides can only hope he waves his magic wand over the eyesores of Bradstowe House and the old Post Office in Harrow’s town centre.

That said, Iron Man Mike did say that Harrow “…makes… a great place for a traditional British holiday” in an article on cd-traveller.com in May 2010, so perhaps we live in hope.

Iron Man Mike’s history:

1959 Born
1978-81 Hull University: Geography and History BA (Hons)
1981-84 National Audit Office, graduate trainee
1985 Humberside County Council, senior auditor
1986 London Borough of Kingston Upon Thames, auditor
1987 Price Waterhouse, auditor
1991 Surrey County Council, audit adviser
1995 EBC, director of finance & corporate services
2000-07 EBC, Chief Executive
2007-present Harrow Borough Council, Chief Executive



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  1. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    He’s usually still in the Civic till gone 10pm coz of all the meetings.

  2. Morepowertothepeople

    70 hours a week…….I for one do not believe it as I suspect will many others!

  3. VoiceOfReason

    35 hours pretending to work at Harrow council, avoiding meeting with local residents, inventing new diversion tactics to avoid answering difficult questions, delegating all decisions to PA etc.etc. and then 35 hours naval gazing and congratulating self for hoodwinking an entire Borough into thinking you deserve the money you earn. No wonder the man smirks all the time!!

  4. VoiceOfReason

    Oh and did Paul Boakes get a reply to the FOI request for the CEO’s job description yet? That should give us an excellent idea about how he spends his time and whether the job takes up 70 hours a week. I suspect as we speak, they are drawing up a job descrption to fit the hours he allegedly works.

  5. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Paul I already sent you a comment on this and it registered as pending approval – why didn’t you publish it? Mike’s often at the evening meetings and rarely gets away before 10pm. All the top officers do so.

  6. Morepowertothepeople

    Totally agree Voice of reason………..we are hoodwinked!

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