Nov 28 2013

Harrow Labour: Chief Exec’s Departure was ‘Dictatorial’

labour_roseHarrow Labour Press Release – on the Chief Executive Situation

In October the Leader of the Council, Susan Hall, and her Conservative Administration without consultation, and ignoring all protocols for managing staff changes, introduced a consultation to delete the post of the Chief Executive. This was met with opposition from Staff, Councillors and the Community given the total lack of fairness shown by the Susan Hall with the ‘click of a finger’ decision to delete the job of a Council employee. The current Chief Executive has worked tirelessly for Harrow Council for 6 years and was successful in achieving the ‘Best Achieving Council Award 2011/12,’ with the then Labour Administration.

The Labour Group would like to place on record our disgust at the way the Chief Executive has been unfairly treated over the past 4 weeks, with the total lack of consideration given to the Labour Groups proposed motion at Full Council in November- which sensibly called for a halt to the current proposals until after the May 2014 Council Elections. The Leader of the Council has used her power to push this policy through in a dictatorial style.

Last night at the Chief Officer Employment Panel we were informed that the Chief Executive will now be leaving the post following the disgraceful treatment by the Conservative Administration.

The following statement was read out at the meeting by Cllr. David Perry – Leader of the Labour Group:

“Given the Chief Executives expression to stand down from Harrow Council, we feel the hands have been tied of the Chief Executive in this process, given the position he has been placed in both personally and professionally. We also feel the hands have been tied of the Chief Officer Employment Panel, at the fact our recommendation is standing in the way of a current employees desire to leave the Council in what I am guessing are impossible circumstances.

We would like to place on record our grave concern at the ‘snap’ treatment of a Council employee and feel the process he was faced with, left him no choice, due to the untenable position which lay ahead following an unfair process”.

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  1. All things good

    I for one as a long standing resident of Harrow am happy that Michael Lockwood is leaving, although not happy with the severance deal he leaves with! We pay him a lot of money for doing exactly what, apart from sitting in his office, ignoring the pleas on occasion from some harrow residents when things are wrong within his organisation and they want to meet with him. It had been suggested in the past for him to have an open surgery for residents, but this was completely ignored. He appeared to be unapproachable, unattainable, and unsupportive to us the residents and taxpayers. Well done Susan Hall for deleting this overpaid and over inflated post, but please don’t stop there I can think of others that need to go!

  2. j p hobbs

    I agree with the above , he totally ignored my request under the freedom of information act until the morning after I put his email address on facebook that very morning I had a reply . coincidence I don’t think so do you ?

  3. miss piggy

    what a load of nonsense the above two have written! clearly you have no idea what the chief executive did for not only the council but its residents!!! Michael regularly net with residents albeit not every request that came through but he did all the same and made no promises but always gave apologies for the poor service the resident has received. Michael also met residents at the request of councillors so possibly your councillor was not doing their job properly!

    you ask any staff member what they thought of the chief executive and you’d find it hard to hear a bad word!

  4. Harrow Residents

    Do you really think that he has gone for that sort of money please!!! That is what Cllr Hall wants you to think .

  5. Susan Hall

    Perhaps you would like to make your comment clearer. This has been a transparent situation if you want to make a comment then make it clear what you are saying or insinuating – or withdraw your comment.

  6. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    I thought David Perry voted FOR the CEO to go! Would anyone in the Labour group care to clarify the inconsistency beteeen the press release and the actual action taken?!

  7. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    @ Susan – one thing I don’t understand about this deal. The CEO hasn’t worked since you took over from us yet he stays on the books till the end of February. Most voters will see that as another five month’s money, akin to around £75,000 yet this figure has never appeared in any of the publicity written on this event. Is that really the definition of “transparency”? Or, like claiming that busting HMOs is solving “Beds in Sheds”, is it merely pure, unadulterated, good old-fashioned political SPIN?

  8. Cllr. David Perry - Leader of the Labour Group

    Cllr. Will Stoodley you should really start attending more of your Group meetings and listening in class when your teacher is speaking.

    A few weeks ago I brought forward a motion to full Council objecting to the deletion of the Chief Executive post, this was the Labour Groups view and I seem to recall you voted for my motion.

    The position of the Labour Group was to always oppose the way in which an undemocratic and unfair consultation was introduced by Susan Hall and her Conservative Cabinet (only, from what I hear). This opposition has not changed.

    The only difference being that when the Chief Officer Employment Panel (COEP) met, we were informed that the Chief Executive had resigned and come to an agreement with Harrow Council on terms to leave. If you read my statement I read out at the meeting it clearly states that the COEP were standing in the way of this agreement, and given the treatment and disgraceful situation the Chief Executive had been faced with, we did not want to ignore the decision he had made to leave the authority and prolong the impossible situation which had been dictated to him by the Conservative Administration.

    When one is standing on the edge of a cliff staring down the barrel of a gun (in my opinion), what would you do Stoodley?

    Yet again, the Independent Labour Group are circulating false information. You did it when you formed back in May and you continue to do it to this very day. I guess a leopard never changes its spots.

    The people of Harrow must always remember that although the Independent Labour Group are now criticising Susan Hall and the Tories, THEY ARE ONLY THERE BECAUSE YOU ALL VOTED FOR THEM. Therefore you share the burden of responsibility.

    Have a good weekend.

  9. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    @ Dave – so you confirm you were against the Chief Exec going and you confirm you voted for him to go – all in the same statement! I asked for clarification on the rational behind such inconsistent action Dave, not confirmation of it!!

  10. All things good

    Please tell me you are kidding and that Michael Lockwood has not left? Because if this is true and we are paying him up until February, I for one as a taxpayer am furious and would like someone to explain why!

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