Oct 12 2014

Harrow Council Publishes Chief Exec Job Ad

harrow_council_logoAfter much noise and debate, the Council has advertised for a new Chief Executive. It says:

Harrow Council needs a truly outstanding individual to lead it through what are exceptional times. We are searching for a Chief Executive who can oversee a programme of cost reduction on an unprecedented scale while ensuring that our most vulnerable residents are looked after.

The successful candidate will need to restructure the authority so it is in the right shape to serve Harrow’s people at a time when we will be relying on the community and volunteers to do more.You will also need to lead the Council in its ambition to become more commercial. Our innovative legal services partnership and strong planning services are leading the way and Harrow Council has skills and expertise it wants to sell and promote nationally.

Together with plans to expand shared services with other authorities, the Council is moving into a new phase of commercial activity and the right Chief Executive will spearhead that drive.

Consultation and engagement are at the heart of the administration’s vision and the Chief Executive needs to not only explain but represent and lobby for that vision across West London and beyond. With a large number of entrepreneurial businesses, the Chief Executive will be working in a part of West London which is poised for major expansion with prime development sites and good transport links to London and beyond. As the Government announced recently, Harrow and Wealdstone is also under consideration for a CrossRail connection. Harrow has a diverse population and excellent schools which are currently undergoing expansion. Parents want to bring their children up in Harrow, and the Council is committed to providing those children with the education, skills and opportunities to excel.

The new administration has a clear vision and strong leadership – we now  need a Chief Executive to manage our journey.

It then refers prospective jobseekers to the Council’s own website for a little more, including job specs.

With a salary scale of £147,813 to £167,997 plus a further 21% in a couple of years times in pension contributions, annual pension increases, flexible working hours, interest-free season ticket loan, interest-free car loan, upto £6,000 relocation expenses, 30-days paid holiday, and the ability to buy/sell additional leave days, it seems a fairly comfy number.

But the cracks are beginning to show:

“The new administration has a clear vision and strong leadership…” says the advert. No, when the leader seems to work just a couple of days a week and turn up for meetings as and when he feels like it, and his cabinet take over nine days to respond to the simplest of emails, ‘strong leadership’ probably isn’t a phrase we’d use to describe the council.

deceptive_pictureBut a picture of the Civic Centre (above) might help sway potential applicants, no? So they use an old picture, showing the ‘peace pond’ at the front of the building – perhaps the new Chief Exec would like to join Dave (Tuesday and Thursdays only, of course) for a gentle paddle, whilst they lament the intrusion of local blogs asking awkward questions? However, the peace pond has now been filled in and had the Groundforce experience there, with a range of perennials and topiary carefully, yet casually, planted. So the deception has already started. Why they couldn’t send someone down with an iPhone to take a quick picture of how it really is, remains unknown.

“…working in a part of West London which is poised for major expansion with prime development sites…” – do they, perhaps, mean any of these ‘prime development sites’ (pictures taken by @PraxisReform).

Remember, folks, this post is costing residents £1,000,000 over the next four years. And if anyone tells you that even if the new Chief Exec saves 1% of the council budget, he’ll pay for himself, ask why the last Chief Exec couldn’t do that. When Dave announced a review of the “senior management structure”, which he promised to do within the first month, residents probably thought he’d be looking at cutting some of the dead wood from the tree, not inviting more of it.

Fancy a bash? Call Jon on 020 8424 1225 or Dave on 07505 430133.


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  1. Timeforchange

    Flexible working hours…so can he or she work 2 days a week and draw a full time salary?

    Talking of which presumably Dave takes a full time salary,is he allowed to do that?

  2. Concerned Harrovian


    “and strong planning services are leading the way and Harrow Council has skills and expertise it wants”

    Are these the same planners that are having to pay compensation to Barnet over the Hive fiasco?

  3. Concerned Harrovian

    Quote (again)

    “and Harrow Council has skills and expertise it wants”

    Would this be Harrow’s legal team who act for Harrow and Barnet?

    I have just read in the local press that Harrow’s legal team have made a hash of Barnet’s governance.

    it is a poisoned chalice for the person who takes on the executive role. Looks as if he/she is going to have to improve both the planning and the legal department.

    I expect the £3,000,000 PR spend will help along with the assistance from two day Dave.

  4. PraxisReform

    Here’s a potential Freedom of information request for anyone interested:

    How specifically will Harrow Council “be relying on the community and volunteers to do more” in any significant fashion?

    I get that some people are likely prepared to put in a few hours here or there to help improve the borough, but an odd days gratis labour from someone kind enough to donate their time and effort to picking up litter or doing a little gardening isn’t going to add up to anywhere near £76M

    Perhaps the phrase should have read – Harrow Councillors will be relying on you to persuade the community and volunteers to do more?

    But then, as the recent Council Statement of Accounts shows, the big money is going to Council Officers, Lawyers and suchlike, not Gardeners and Litter pickers.

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