Nov 05 2014

Harrow Council’s New Chief Exec: Announcement Today?

harrow_council_logoSo having interviewed four candidates yesterday (source: item 16 here) can we expect an announcement from the Council today over who the new Chief Exec will be?

We know that Michael Lockwood was seen at the Civic Centre yesterday, on the same day that interviews were going ahead, and whilst we could also expect the current interim Chief Exec, Paul Nasjarek to also have applied, the names and background of the other two remain unknown. Michael is certainly in a strong position, at least as far as Dave will be concerned: no learning curve, none of the “90 days” time needed to find your feet, and that fact that he already knows how to navigate the organisation will have put him in a strong position.

The interview panel (undoubtedly made up of at least Dave and Cllr Susan Hall, plus others – we’d expect the Labour contingent to outnumber, by design, the Conservatives) will have spent the best part of the day on this, and no doubt Cllr Hall would have posed some tough questions to all the candidates, not least of all Michael, who would have had the disadvantage of being unable to hide any not-so-glowing parts of his seven year history at the council. Let’s not forget, it was under his watch that the council overspent by £millions on the Whitmore School rebuild.

What would be nice, would be to get someone in with fresh ideas, some determination, some rigour, rather than reverting back to how the council was 12 months ago. This is a great chance for Dave to show he has the leadership ability to recognise the benefits that a new face would bring, rather than settling for something more akin to an old pair of comfy slippers.

Given the timescales, and the decision needing the agreement of a full council meeting in a little over a week, it would be surprising if there wasn’t an announcement today on who the successful candidate was.

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