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Nov 20 2014

Cllr Stephen Wright: Perry’s £1m Hired Help

conservative_logoDear Sir,

At last Thursday’s full Council meeting the Labour administration, under its part time leader Cllr. David Perry, voted through the reappointment of Michael Lockwood as Chief Executive at a cost of £1m over four years.

Did Harrow actually need a Chief Executive? Well, not according to the Council’s own auditor, Deloitte, who in their recent annual report said: “there have been no instances of control weakness identified during our detailed audit work as a result of the deletion of the CEO post”. Deloitte also considered the threat the deletion of the CEO post would have to the authority achieving ongoing value for money and concluded: “we are satisfied the responsibilities of the new post holder (the Head of Paid Services) satisfied those risks”.

[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”30%”]”Cllr. Barry Kendler… questioned the integrity and impartiality of Deloitte…”[/pullquote]What did Labour say about this report? Cllr. Barry Kendler rubbished it and questioned the integrity and impartiality of Deloitte, a world renowned audit, tax and consulting firm!

For all their talk of consultation Labour didn’t ask Harrow residents what they thought about bringing the role back – they asked staff, but fewer than 10% responded. So the only indication of what residents really thought was a poll in the local paper – showing 66% of residents against it.

Of course, we know Cllr. Perry is keen to hang on to his day job while putting in two days a week as Council Leader on full pay, and there’s such a void in his own Labour ranks that maybe Cllr. Perry feels he needs help. But at a cost to the taxpayer of around £1 million, residents can be forgiven for asking if that’s a good enough reason.

Yours,

Cllr. Stephen Wright (Conservative)

Pinner Ward

Harrow Council

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5 comments

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  1. David Richmond

    There is nothing like previous failure leading to greater success in local government. Are we that short of talent in the UK that we have to continue with these revolving doors for mediocre people in local government especially?

  2. J Smith

    Well it was in the Labour Group manifesto that they were elected on in May. What consultation did the ruling Harrow Conservative Group undertake last autumn when they abolished the role?

    It’s not like the Conservative Group actually listen to Harrow residents. Twice in a row now they have put up a Leader who has been rejected at the ballot box (2010 and 2014). Cllr Suzie also failed to win two byelections in a row last year in key marginal wards. When will the Conservative Group finally get the message and elect a decent Leader of the Opposition who residents might consider voting in as Council Leader? Until they do so they can expect to remain in opposition for many more years…

  3. Gary

    Well said J Smith, is it no wonder at all that Susan is not acceptable to the Public and Residents of Harrow. it is both regrettable and a fact that the public purse actually pays her to insult the people of this country with her outrageous comments. Furthermore the conservative group appears to condone this members disgraceful behaviour since not one of them has come forward and openly declared that this type of antediluvian behaviour is not acceptable. All of this in ‘anti bullying week’, However, in complete contrast another elected person stands down from office within the same week,for images of a persons house placed on web sites.
    Susan has openly stated that this is political correctness gone mad, maybe she fails to comprehend the requirements of freedom of speech. This can only be undertaken if offense is not caused to any person or persons. I have to wonder whether this is one reason the Tory Party desires to distance themselves and erode the Human Rights Act, so they can return to an era of master and serf widening the social gap even further. Finally, will the Tory group of Harrow take decisive action and request that Cllr Susan Hall stands down from her position for the reputational damage she has enacted on Harrow Borough’s residents and staff ?

  4. Anonymous

    I was an employee at harrow council for a significant number of years. I have worked under both labour & Tory administrations over the years and I have no personal political affiliation. I left harrow this year for another local authority but I am still a resident of harrow.
    I can honestly say from my time at harrow that I have seen the most despicable behaviours from elected members – both labour & Tory… Members falling asleep in meetings, using their position to influence officers to benefit residents, businesses and even a certain infamous football club… To just sheer incompetence where member ask questions that clearly show they do not comprehend the issue or point of discussion.

    I can honestly say that I have nothing but respect for Cllr Hall, not only a competent member who can understand the issue & decisions to be made, but as a member I genuinely believes wants to do the best for residents & businesses, she’s comes to the horse itself and asks you to speak bluntly, not dress up the issue! As for Cllr Perry, I cannot offer any comment as he simply never came & spoke or met with anyone in my dept, I don’t think I have ever over the course of all those year even seen him; the same applies to the labour portfolio holder Cllr perry appointed to our dept; I cannot see how as resident I can have faith in these members as individuals irrespective of their political party. That said there are certain labour members (very few!) for whom I have great respect and hold in the same regard as some (again few!) Tory members.

    As for the chief executive, the council carried out without him & his absence was barely missed, just goes to show what he actually did…. Having moved on to another local authority and attended pan london mtgs, I can tw you, it is largely unknown that harrow deleted the chief executive role… In fact harrow are not the first to do so & won’t be the last from what I hear. The complete & utter joke lies in this fiasco with labour for bringing back the post unnecessarily, bringing back Michael Lockwood himself (watch the staff walk now!) and for wasting such ridiculous money on having a chief executive post…. This is what has made harrow the laughing stock!! Just goes to prove my point above, harrow lacks competent members to make decisions, I would blame Cllr Perry entirely but the last council mtg just shows that no labour member has any comptency otherwise they would stand up and ask the question, why & what the hell are we doing!!! Bring on the next election because for me as resident with no political affiliation, I know who I will definitely be voting against!!!

  5. Concerned Harrovian

    1984 is in Harrow in 2014. Quote from George Orwell “Ignorance is strength” Now four libraries have been proposed for closure. How does this help literacy in Harrow? Does the administration think by denying people access to information they can get away with more incompetence?

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