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Aug 03 2016

Harrow Council’s Fat Cat Bosses Demand Massive Payrise

harrow_council_broken_2Earlier today, Harrow Council’s Chief Exec, Lucky Lockwood, held court to at the Chief Officers’ Employment Panel to plead the case for more cash for a couple of his service directors.

First up was the Director of Adult Social Services, who currently earns £104,760 per year with almost a £6,000 per year ‘honorarium’ and a further £2,300 ’emergency response office payment’ on top, bringing him to around £113,000 per year (although both those payment ceased earlier this year). Cash-rich Lockwood put the case that the DASS (snappy acronym used in the papers) be handed a further £5,865 of residents money.

The second was the Head of Adult Social care, who earns £84,933 per year. Again, Lockwood asked to dig deep and throw a further £11,876 of residents’ money into the pay-packet, a pay rise of almost 14%. Not bad after just three years in the post (and a time of record council tax increases) from when he was bought in from Lambeth at the very top of Harrow’s then salary-band. “The current post holder,” says the council, “is keen to stay in Harrow and build on the success already achieved.” Well of course – and would they still be “keen” if they weren’t getting a massive payrise?

There’s no word yet as to whether those proposals got waved through this evening.

The council says: “The Council’s Annual Pay Policy seeks to reduce income inequality….” Clearly.

Sources: here and here.

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26 comments

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  1. F.D.Billson

    What a complete disgrace but this ties in with the policies of the useless administration that we have . The quicker Lockwood is kicked out the better for all tax paying residents. Harrow taxpayers are sitting ducks to be ripped off at every turn.

  2. ngerogi

    Well done iharrow for bringing this and other similar issues to the public’s attention!

  3. Christopher Langley

    It is beyond understanding why for years and years under this and Conservative Administrations no Organization Chart together with salaries is available to the general public for Harrow Council. It was and is indicative of poor management and makes the accountability of Officers a nonsense. Look at Wandsworth Council to see how a professionally run Council is managed and note that their Council Tax is half that of Harrow..

  4. red mirror

    i wonder what degree those two chaps are in the lodge?somewhere around lockwoods i would hazard a guess theres your answer people .i would like to repeat something here that jfk stated (the very idea of a secret society in a modern free democratic system is utterly repugnant ) might i suggest that mr lockwood stop reading morals and dogma by albert pike and try a dose of thomas paine instead though i fear it is far too late to hope for a road to damascus moment from the mamon obsessed ceo.

  5. Council Employee

    I wonder if Lucky Lockwood would be willing to petition the Chief Officer’s Employment Panel to try and save all of the jobs that are being axed in Children’s Services, Early Intervention Services and Youth Development? If he hadn’t been given his job back and been allowed to keep his pension, be on a higher salary as well as the pay rises being proposed to his cronies; there may be money spare to pay the savings they propose to make by redundancies and dropping pay scales by 2 grades. Maybe that is just a little to logical.

    1. Someonewhocares

      A fair point: But I think most of us assume that the “old boys’ network” approach they use like this is solely there to protect the ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ Fat Cats (at all costs) all the other ‘lower life forms’ (both employees and residents) can slowly but surely go to hell; Are we wrong?

  6. susan hall

    The Chief Officer Panel was held tonight. My Deputy Leader and I were there representing the Conservatives. It was moved from what we call part 2 where everyone except the panel and advisers have to leave to part 1 – which means public are allowed to hear what is being said which is why I can report back here. We , my colleague and I,had plenty of questions about the papers and content. Unfortunately Sachin Shah the Labour Leader and Chairman of the committee got fed up with us asking questions and called for a vote thus stopping us getting answers. This is what we have to put up with constantly. Labour simply do not want discussion, debate and more importantly challenge. The Unions had posed questions regarding tonights papers, we were going to bring them to this committee, unfortunately as always we were silenced – welcome to Harrow’s democracy-I am certain that this is not what our residents intended to vote for.

    1. Council Employee

      I hope you will be equally visible in representing Children’s Services / Early Intervention Workers at Harrow Council, whose jobs are being downgraded, scrapped and deleted due to a redesign team which has and still is ignoring the comments of those who deliver these services and want the best for service users. I also hope you will be doing your best in letting the public know that their services are being trashed, whilst Council executives receive huge pay increases taken from increased council tax bills. Maybe a letter from yourself to the Harrow Times to highlight these issues would be a good idea as they have clearly ignore my efforts at bringing this to their attention.

      1. Susan Hall

        We Conservatives are there to ask questions and scrutinise decisions, that is the job of the opposition. The Labour administration allow us only15 minutes a month to do this at Cabinet, despite having promised us two places at Cabinet over two years ago. The questions have to be sent in days before and often our supplementary questions go without a proper answer. At the Overview and Scrutiny meetings we are closed down as soon as is possible as indeed Barry my deputy and I were stopped from asking questions at the Chief Officer Employment panel featured above. There are many worrying issues related to the Council which we endeavour to highlight but we are limited in where we can bring them. The Harrow Times has had reporters in the last year that will not even discuss matters with us let alone ask us for a comment on Labour press releases.

        If you want to discuss issues relating to Children’s Services I am all ears and my mobile number is 07860742093 if not I am sure your Union will take staffing issues up. Regrettably despite always assisting our staff where I can there is clearly a desire from a Union Member to see me removed. The Union has always worked closely with the Labour Councillors so perhaps they (the Unions) are best suited to protect your positions.

        I am happy that we have iharrow because whatever we, or anyone else, send in Paul Boakes prints as well as his own stories. However I must tell you Christopher Langley that when in charge of the Council Paul was always trying to find out information and I always gave it, good and bad. I don’t think he ever had to resort to FOI’s as I asked the Officers to make the information open to him.

        The Council is run on our money – taxpayers money, and therefore we all have a right to know what is going on. Transparency is key and that’s how I ran the Council when I was in charge.

        1. red mirror

          yes susan there were many worrying issues with the council when i worked there frustrating being ignored and shut out isnt it?i trust paul implicitly but i made the HUGE mistake of trusting a councilor who fed me to the wolves BUT hey i know karma exists it may take a little time sure. i have been vindicated now its the universes turn i just hope its not too severe for the ring of human detritus that still slithers within harrow council i am humane at the end of the day thanks paul doing a sterling job sir god bless.

        2. Someonewhocares

          First your oft-repeated comment about being ‘promised two places on cabinet’. In the interests of all-important ‘transparency’ therefore who then made that promise ? (I suspect you are referring to the long-defunct INDEPENDENT Labour Group you allied with at that time).

          Similarly with Lockwood: We all know you ‘deleted’ him too at that time but unfortunately it looks like he is ‘here to stay’ now and your resistance to him (right or wrong) is beginning to seem like sour grapes or even a personal vendetta (?)

          We are *all* for ‘opposition’ of course, but it has to be *effective opposition*, not opposition just ‘for the hell of it’… thus how about fighting for Harrow to get better Central Government funding now too?

          In the meantime yes please *do* keep up the transparency via whichever route allows it best!

          1. Susan Hall

            For clarification. David Perry(previous Labour Leader) promised we would be on Cabinet. When we were not put on it after the election I asked Keith Ferry (Deputy Labour Leader) why not and his answer was ” we never thought we would take over the Council”

            May I also make it absolutely clear that I do get on well with Michael Lockwood. The deletion of his post when we were in charge was exactly that – a deletion of the post – it was not personal. We wanted to start to reduce the cost of senior management given decreasing budgets. Clearly Labour support the costs of lots of top management, sadly at the expense of the lower paid staff. Labour are in charge and therefore they make the decisions. Given recent decisions Harrow taxpayers may or may not agree ……

        3. Council Employee

          Thank you for your support Susan.
          It is an absolute mystery to us how Cabinet passed the redesign proposals for the Early Intervention Department and didn’t question the cherry picked negative information provided by the biased self serving redesign team when a report concluded in 2015 by the previous manager glowed with positivity about the work done bye the EIS practitioners. It is quite clear that they are simply going through the motions with us in the same way Cabinet is with the Conservatives. They have meetings with staff and totally ignore the concerns put forward by the people who know the service best, those who deliver it and arrange consultation meetings for times when we already have union meetings scheduled. Staff will lose their jobs over this but I know that those staff members main concerns are for the service users who are being forced to accept a reduced service which is not fit to meet their needs.
          I have tried contacting the Harrow Times in a futile attempt for them to highlight this issue but they seem more interested in cats stuck up trees than the shameful misappropriation of Harrow residents council tax to fat cat bosses, whilst essential services for vulnerable young people and families are dismantled before their eyes.
          The more people know about this and the impact it is going to have across the families and schools in our borough the better. All publicity on this is good publicity as it will only serve to show the nepotism which is rife among council leaders and management. Unison are gearing up for a fight and the members are in it too. However, this affects everyone and everyone needs to know about it and make their feelings known. Putting your number online is more than Labour have done to support the union members who put the Labour Party on the map in the first place. I shall call you and look forward to any help and support you can lend.

          1. Someonewhocares

            Well then let’s see if we can work out it out CE (- the ‘mystery’ of the EIS ‘rubber stamp’ by Cabinet I mean); You say the data was ‘cherry picked; – who. specifically, did that ? (Name names if you can – as we obviously need to identify these slippery So-and-Sos before they do this again). Similarly was the Plan revealed *well in advance of the meeting to all involved and affected* (as it should have been, considering the far-reaching consequences). Sadly it may just be too late for EIS now – but other areas may be protected if you explain more about the process they have used to force this through.

          2. Council Employee

            Someonewhocares. The redesign of the EIS and YDT was started at the beginning of the year around the same time as the new Service Manager for EIS/YDT/YOT, Errol Albert took up his post. He certainly seems to have been handed a poisoned chalice. Staff were told that there would be a redesign and that there would be redundancies and re-assessments of job descriptions. We weren’t told that there would be staff dropped two pay grades at this point. Staff were invited to attend ‘consultations’ where their points of view would be heard and taken into consideration. The ‘consultations’ took the form of written question and answer sessions where staff were asked questions such as ‘If you had to lose three services which are currently being provided what would they be?’ In short we were being asked to justify why our own roles should be saved and why our colleagues jobs should be axed. We were assured that there wasn’t a plan in place and we were working from a blank page. The redesign team consisted of Hilary O’Byrne (whose daughter is a children’s centre manager) and Ann Garret. A redesign proposal was duly drawn up and we were given 90 minutes to read it (a 60 odd page document) as it was emailed to everyone at 8.30am before having to attend a meeting chaired by Errol Albert to inform us of the proposals at 10am. This was not a question and answer session and many present had not had the benefit of reading the document and found out their fate at the meeting lit up by a projector for all to see. The proposal named individuals and simply stated that their roles were to be deleted. You can imagine the shock that gave some people. The union were not invited to this meeting. We then found out that the redesign team had neglected to have this proposal passed by Cabinet. The reason I was told was because they had forgotten. No matter, they just put everything on hold for a month, had it passed in what I have heard was a quick flick through the pages and on to the next topic. I wasn’t present at the Cabinet meeting so I can’t say exactly who was there or who passed the proposal. At the end of 2015 Cherise Monero, who was then the Service Manager for EIS/YDT conducted a report on the effectiveness of EIS/YDT. She was a very well respected and professional manager, liked by everyone. Her report concluded that EIS/YDT were performing very well and noted many positive examples as well as areas for improvement. The redesign team have ignored this report and used an earlier report, cherry picked only negative examples and skewed their report in favour of a redesign, a redesign which benefitted Hilary O’Byrne’s daughter by giving her a pay rise, a position which she isn’t qualified to hold and responsibilities in areas far beyond her experience. The ‘proposed new design’ we keep being told is only a proposal and open to debate. However, it is due to be rolled out in October with far too many questions remaining unanswered, jobs lost and services slashed. It is very clear to staff that some of the posts being deleted are simply to get rid of staff who have long service records and have risen up the pay scale, not always by entitlement but by nepotism. The new redesign looks to be unworkable for numerous reasons but protests about that are falling on deaf ears or are being passed over to HR to answer. The next staff meeting is set for 8th September. At this meeting will be Michael Lockwood (on drums) Chris Spencer (guitar and vocals) Paul Hewitt (on bass) and Errol Albert (vocals). The reason for this meeting is to illustrate how a young person/family will be referred directly to EIS, thus abandoning the current process of being assessed and signposted to the relevant team including Police / Children In Need etc. Then how they will be given an ‘Access Pathway’ after identifying their needs and what there is still left of EIS to offer them. The families will then be expected to attend group sessions at a Children’s Centre; either at Hillview, Cedars or an Early Support Centre (The Pinner Centre, Wealdstone Centre or Cedars Youth Centre). It stands to reason that people won’t want to attend ‘Group sessions’ where they will be expected to discuss their deepest and most personal problems in front of a group of strangers. All client confidentiality is then out the window too. This concern has been aired and quickly shut down without space for debate.
            I can see this in a year’s time being a damage limitation exercise where new staff are brought in, probably via expensive agencies in order to clear up the mess and put things right again. And who will be co-ordinating it, my guess is the people that screwed it up in the first place.

  7. Concerned Harrovian

    The current administration consider the council tax payers plebs who are not entitled to ask questions about officers earnings. They operate like a secret society and we, the tax payers, should only exist to fund their lifestyles. We pay the garden tax and the new highway robbery tax for events in parks and on the public highway

    Officers never seem to be called to account and even if they leave Harrow they are generally recycled in some other borough. Which colour bin do we put unwanted fat cats in for disposal?

  8. Christopher Langley

    The lack of a local newspaper with any investigative reporting is the problem. Reading stories about lost cats or unchallenged statements by Councillors of all colours is just fodder for the uninterested and results in a complete lack of accountability. iHarrow provides an important contribution to the workings of Harrow Council but is understandably is partisan.

  9. Gary

    Harrow unison LG branch is absolutely disgusted and will mobilise in regards to this matter, the residents have had a massive increase in council tax 2.5% just for adult social care, we cannot sack our members staff at Kenmore NRC delivering valuable services to the vulnerable and then increase salaries for those that are never visible, Unison is of the opinion that this is poor Leadership. staff are faced with the uncertainty of unemployment whilst there dismissals contribute to higher salaries of others at a senior level. Unison will move quickly to demonstrate that we are here for the benefit of our hardworking members and of course the residents who should continue to receive valuable services, and not just pay for the luxury life styles of the few, or may I add is Philip Green’s attitude and practices entering into Harrow Council

    1. Someonewhocares

      Sadly when you look at many other Councils it is the same, CEOs are frequently highly paid and yet completely ineffectual, hence the ‘fat cats’ comparison of course. Yes, whilst this is bad enough in the Private Sector it is a travesty in the Public one.

      Unfortunately Green will just get his ‘knuckles rapped’ and pay back a *proportion* of his ill-gotten gains. In an ideal world we would get punitive damages too. Overall if the Private Sector can get away with such ‘Robber Baron’ mentality it simply encourages similar arrogance in the Public Sector too.

      1. Someonewhocares

        Worth re-visiting in this particular context almost 2 years on….

        https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/14/council-chief-executive-abolition-eric-pickles-harrow

  10. Transparency

    According to the figures published in the above link the Head of Adult Social Care already earns at the top of D1 pay grade (£94,929) and not the figure suggested. By my calculations that takes him up to £106,805, which is plain greedy. He may have taken on more responsibilities but who hasn’t in the Council? People are working themselves to death doing the jobs of three or four previous workers. Why is this individual so different? Have members been misled by the report?

  11. Someonewhocares

    Thank you for the additional explanations and detail above CE, it must be extremely demotivating to endure this whole so-called ‘redesign’ – many aspects of which are (again) especially disgusting considering the Services affected. To have such an ill-conceived and badly implemented ‘plan’ forced on you like this is absolutely deplorable.

    Unfortunately ‘presenting’ the plan as they did (with minimum notice to all involved etc) was of course deliberate and particularly nasty. And the “consultation” with the employees is meaningless in this context of course. Based on such methodologies I would strongly suspect that those reprehensible self-centred individuals responsible had also misrepresented the facts to others too, such as Senior Management the Cabinet (?) Sadly it is simply how such ‘professional liars’ work. (“Yes Mr CEO it has already been fully discussed in the Departments affected and has been accepted by everyone”…) Fortunately ‘Life eventually catches up with them’ of course but they can do a lot of damage before it does.

    Now that you have had the courage to expose it all like this can I suggest that you print it out and mail it ASAP to ‘the band’ you listed plus Cabinet, HR and all 60+ Councillors, and so on – asking them ‘to be suitably ashamed for allowing it all to happen’? That way – whatever the outcome – they can not claim, when it is too late, that they ‘just did not know’.

  12. Council Employee

    It was on the front page of the Harrow Times today. A bit late to the party but welcome nonetheless.

  13. Someonewhocares

    Yes. although not as detailed and specific as your own exposé of course at least it means even more residents are aware of this whole bad-handled mess now:

    http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/14690476.Harrow_Council__abandoning_vulnerable_families__by_slashing_young_people_services_budget/

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