Mar 17 2015

Harrow Council’s Finance Director Quits; Moves to Country

harrow_council_logoThings must be bad at Harrow Council, with the rumour this week that Simon George, the Council’s Director of Finance has thrown in the towel after just two years in the job and is heading off to the country for a new role. His departure comes just weeks after the previous Head of Paid Service, Paul Nasjarek, tendered his resignation, meaning two high-level members of the council’s senior management team have quit within a short space of time, and just after Michael Lockwood was brought back to ‘shake up’ the council.

Simon George came to Harrow from Ealing council, and was regarded as exceptionally good at his job: so much so, that Cllr Susan Hall, leader of the opposition Conservative Group commented, “Simon was the best Finance Director the council has had for a long time.” Cllr David Perry, leader of the council, failed to answer an email asking for comment.

No word yet on who will replace Simon – nor who will be the appointed Section 151 officer. Meanwhile, there’s no sign of Lockwood’s long-awaited management restructure – a job he was specifically tasked with – which probably goes some way to explaining why the council continues to haemorrhage residents money on an over-paid, outdated and inefficient management chain.

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  1. Harrow Dude

    He was an embarrassment at the ‘Bin Tax’ call in, for someone who implemented the same thing in Eailing albeit at £30 pound less than his plans for Harrow, he could not answer a question or provide any substantiated figures.

    If he’s the best we’ve had for a long time we really must try harder…

  2. Susan Hall

    Please get your facts straight Harrow Dude. The decision to charge a ‘bin tax’ stands firmly at Labours door. At the Call In (Where Conservatives questioned Labour members about their decision) it was the Labour Councillors who could not answer the questions, it is they who are bringing in this terrible tax as well as an increase to our council tax. At Call Ins it is supposed to be the Councillors justifying what they are doing. It was a shambles. In the past I have been questioned and done it happily on my own as I knew the areas I was responsible for, it took three Labour Cabinet members to bluster and get things wrong and then they had to rely on Officers to answer some of the points as they did not have a clue. The decisions being made by this Labour administration are rotton to the core and we Harrow residents are paying the price. They could not run a bath, let alone a Council. As for Simon George, he is an excellent Officer and Harrow will be poorer for him not being here. I wonder how many more good Officers like Paul N and Simon we will lose – doubt Labour will care, after all they have their new/original Chief Executive position back…………………………

    1. Harrow Dude

      The facts are a Divisional Director and a Service Manager with a combined salary circa £230K were sat down in a room and asked to come up with ideas on how the council could save money, resulting in this gem of an idea. If the Conservatives were in power the Officers would have still produced the same ideas.

      It is the 151 Officer’s responsibility to ensure that budget calculations are robust and reserves adequate and that a sound medium term finance strategy exists for both revenue and capital
      spending. Therefore I would expect him to be able to provide Cllr Parmar with some sort of substantiated figures…I didn’t say he was bad I said he was an embarrassment as was Cllr Parmar and also the bloke who looked like an undertaker. I do not deny that this ridiculous decision stands firmly at Labours door but the Officers have to be held accountable too.

  3. F.D.Billson

    The ship is sinking and who can be surprised, Labour is back in charge. It is going to be expensive to find replacements for these good officers but money is no problem for Labour, just spend it and increase the taxes. The re employed Chief Executive is another expensive and damaging decision , one cannot get rid of a senior executive and then re employ him expecting not to have any problems, things can’t work like that .

  4. jack welby

    George is going because he could not give me any accurate figures for the closeures of Harrow libraries as they consolidated staff costs.The council could have saved the libraries for a year or more from the sale of Gayton library and a small sum from reserves.

  5. richard ramirez

    well susan then you must be aware of agenda 21 which ALL councils in the uk have signed up to talking of running baths that will be a thing of the past under agenda 21 all you will have are showers when THEY tell you think im joking im not now get your facts straight and ask the people at the top about agenda 21 then report back because sue this is where all this tax and nonsense is coming from OK

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