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Denise Lloyd

Bill Norman Suspended

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Second senior management suspension as Cheshire East Council investigates misconduct allegations
 
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Second senior management suspension as Cheshire East Council investigates misconduct allegations

A SECOND member of Cheshire East Council's senior management has been suspended as a result of an internal disciplinary investigation.

Bill Norman, the council's director of legal services and monitoring officer, has been absent from his post since April and has now been officially suspended.

The decision follows the suspension of council CEO Mike Suarez on April 27.

A CEC spokesman said: The Investigation and Disciplinary Committee reconvened on Friday, July 14, 2017. The committee is considering allegations relating to the conduct of senior officers.

As a result of Friday's hearing, the decision has been taken to suspend the director of legal services and monitoring officer in order than an independent investigation is undertaken.

The chairman of the committee said: We would stress that this suspension is a neutral act taken in the interests of both the council and the director of legal services and monitoring officer.

It is very important that this investigation is undertaken objectively and therefore it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.

In line with arrangements made by the staffing committee on April 27, an interim officer is covering Mr Norman's role.

As confirmed in April, CEC has made temporary appointments for its positions of chief executive, section 151 officer, and monitoring officer and head of legal services.

The council confirmed that Jan Willis is being paid £1,025 a day, which will be reduced to a monthly salary of £10,626, as acting section 151 officer so current officer Peter Bates can focus on other responsibilities.

Kath Dwyer has been appointed as acting chief executive follow the suspension of Mr Suarez over officer conduct in April, and Daniel Dickinson has taken on the responsibilities of Mr Norman.

Mr Dickinson will be paid £2,621 a month on top of his existing salary for the duration of Mr Norman's absence.

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Extraordinary, as are those salary figures. Perhaps the Chancellor has a point about public service salaries (the upper echelons at least).

 

The trouble is the Chancellor can't see above the workers. After all he needs these common purpose trained managers to transform and cause chaos in the public sector. It's all part of the Conservative's plan for the Big Society.

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A highly enthusiastic interim director and management consultant who motivates and inspires his teams with a track-record of making immediate impact, both in respect of delivering change, reducing costs and improving services.

 
CIPFA and MBA qualified, experience as Director of Finance/Resources for Bristol City and Herefordshire Council’s, delivering robust budgets and financial strategies. Currently working for CIPFA undertaking financial resilience reviews for local authorities.
 
Specialities, strategic financial planning, change management, cost reduction, service improvement, public/private partnerships, commercial flair, building strong and effective teams.
Edited by Colin James

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Referring to the above post on Peter Robinson I could not find the forum where he was discussed previously so thought I could put the two together sort of Rogues Gallery.

 

Anyway how can Peter Robinson the finance director suspended by HC for financial irregularities get a job on behalf of CIPFA advising other councils on their finance?.

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I don't know about "cost reduction" but old Sex-Dwarf Robinson certainly made a few thousand quid disappear from the Council's budget.

 

As for Norman it's history repeating itself - if things run true to form Cheshire East will pay him off and he go and wreak havoc on another authority's legal department.

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I suffered under Norman's incompetence. But I wait until I am ready to make him and others answer for their incompetence. Meanwhile, what are the law society doing about it? Perhaps we all have to wait until there are no more excuses, then we get the answers?

It might cost his former LAs £ms, but then they should have thought of that earlier! ( I chose my words carefully)

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The Law Society are there to protect their own - why should they do anything? What are councillors doing about officers who time and again shortlist corrupt and incompetent people for highly paid jobs when googling them will show their history in a few seconds? Come to that, why don't councillors do a bit of searching before employing these people?

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The Law Society are there to protect their own - why should they do anything? What are councillors doing about officers who time and again shortlist corrupt and incompetent people for highly paid jobs when googling them will show their history in a few seconds? Come to that, why don't councillors do a bit of searching before employing these people?

Nevertheless, if the Law Society's complaints department received letters from several Voice contributors, would they not have to haul Mr Norman before their Disciplinary Tribunal?

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I suffered under Norman's incompetence. But I wait until I am ready to make him and others answer for their incompetence.

Not half as much as the members of Council staff he persecuted.  Plus you've been waiting rather a long time haven't you? He's been gone over a year. Left it a bit late I would suggest.

 

Otherwise what twowheelsgood said.

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Plus one to you, Pete!

 

And TWG! Great comments both.

 

As we've said countless times before....all of the 'history' of these people is in the public domain. Surely it can't be beyond the wit of man to insist that those who sit on the appointment committees, at least have a basic grasp of what havoc has been wreaked before?

 

It's too little too late for Cllrs to complain now.

 

As I recall, the HC whistleblower didn't get a very fair hearing from this guy.....how many Cllrs backed them up when the chips were down?

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The law says that the CE of a LA is Head of Paid Service. That means councillors have NO say as to who is shortlisted for interview.

At CE and Director level, councillors are invited to an informal buffet to meet the candidates, then afterwards report back to the interview panel, who they think is suitable for the post on offer.

 

highly paid professionals, from outside the county, will have shifted through the applicants, long before they are shortlisted. Now I agree these professionals have proved over the ylears that they not much good but they ones used by both private and public sector.

Very unfair to blame councillors for something we have no authority over, but of course you all knew that!

 

As for Norman. I take as long as it takes to ensure that those who do an injustice are brought to book! Maybe some of you need to look over your shoulder! But if Norman can be found guilty of half of those things he is accused of by bloggers, then it needs to stick and justice, something I am committed to what ever the supposed wrong, needs to take its place, no kangaroo courts please. If bloggers got an informed and evidenced based problem with Norman, put it in writing. if you want sent it to me, and I will pass it on to those who need to see it, but please, stop hiding behind these silly names you use. We have had our laugh about the things you say, now we need to use this site for real information and news that will get things moving.

 

Some of you not going to like my response, but at least I got the balls to tell you how it is. ALL your questions can be found on LGA / Government// web sites if you want to look. Sorry guys but I give as good as I get!! If you don't like it get off this site!

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Sorry Chris but if time after time the Head of the Paid Service is overseeing a management structure that makes poor appointments then Councillors can do something. You will know what it is.

Norman and Robinson are just two examples of a long list of poor appointments, but there is also the gravy train of long standing Officers who move around the Council from senior management position to senior management position in the endless restructures, who seem to be somebody's favourite, but may or not be qualified for the job

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As for Norman. I take as long as it takes to ensure that those who do an injustice are brought to book! Maybe some of you need to look over your shoulder! But if Norman can be found guilty of half of those things he is accused of by bloggers, then it needs to stick and justice, something I am committed to what ever the supposed wrong, needs to take its place, no kangaroo courts please. If bloggers got an informed and evidenced based problem with Norman, put it in writing. if you want sent it to me, and I will pass it on to those who need to see it, but please, stop hiding behind these silly names you use. We have had our laugh about the things you say, now we need to use this site for real information and news that will get things moving.

 

Some of you not going to like my response, but at least I got the balls to tell you how it is. ALL your questions can be found on LGA / Government// web sites if you want to look. Sorry guys but I give as good as I get!! If you don't like it get off this site!

 

Translation: You're doing NOTHING.  As usual. If Norman goes down it’ll be because of what happened in Cheshire East, not Herefordshire where he was indulged and allowed to run riot.  

 

As for getting off this site we could say the same to you.  You might fancy yourself as a community leader (see nauseating letter in Hereford Times of a few weeks ago) but you’re not the moderator here.  You don't get to tell us what we can and cannot discuss.

 

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Sorry Chris but if time after time the Head of the Paid Service is overseeing a management structure that makes poor appointments then Councillors can do something. You will know what it is.

Norman and Robinson are just two examples of a long list of poor appointments, but there is also the gravy train of long standing Officers who move around the Council from senior management position to senior management position in the endless restructures, who seem to be somebody's favourite, but may or not be qualified for the job

 

Thank you, telling it like it is and confirming a lot of what has been said on numerous threads, despite Cllr Chappell's rather pompous claims to the contrary.

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Grr.

 

I copied what I wanted, moved it to here - it worked! Foolishly edited the post...and now I've lost the stuff again.

 

I hate technology.

 

The thread was Disability Discrimination on The Wirral - Bill Normans Role. And post no. 39 was what I was attempting to find!

 

18 months ago, discussions were taking place on qualifications for certain roles. I wondered if AV had seen it, and was this perhaps what he was thinking of?

Edited by dippyhippy

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Is it this one Dippy:

Post 39

Posted 17 January 2016
 

Denise Lloyd, on 17 Jan 2016 - 18:58, said:

What is the name of the new legal beaver at Herefordshire Council ?

There isn't one Denise - as I understand it Natalia Silver one of Geoff Hughes' proteges is now in charge of the legal department, but doesn't have any legal qualifications. Neither does the grandly titled Head of Law, Governance and Resilience who is also in charge of the legal department... One of the Deputy Solicitors is fulfilling the post of monitoring officer.  A case of too many chiefs perhaps?

As to whether Bill Norman was any good? er...no.   Rumour is he hadn't made himself too popular with the Plough Lane bigwigs after a botched restructure of the legal and committee departments which saw a load of experienced staff depart, but subsequently failed to recruit anyone new. Doh! That might have something to do with his sudden departure from Hereford.

Edited by Pete Boggs, 17 January 2016 .
 

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Does Norman follow trouble or does trouble follow him?

 

I think that's might be one of those chicken and egg type questions Denise. Personally I think bent authorities like Cheshire East and Herefordshire like to employ bent officers who they know will have the moral flexibility to do things that might give more honest people pause for thought.

 

Incidentally someone wants to know who at East Cheshire is being investigated by Inspector Knacker and Co:

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/suspensions_12#incoming-1017392

 

The Council have responded but have used a bit of sophistry, based on the applicant's slightly clumsy wording, to avoid answering who exactly might be helping the police with their enquiries. If anyone.

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Thanks for update Denise .. Very interesting - the question is - where will it end - in a large payout to one and all OR That's the end , we have woken up - no more payouts ?

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This is good and interesting news. Now all the LAs he worked for should reopen the files he worked on to see if there are any reasons to question him further!!

You are correct Chris ......but will they ?

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Catching up with my reading on Wirralleaks just saw this - hope PC does not mind my reposting it:

"As we said yesterday in our Spot the Blott post we do like to follow the progress of former Wirral Council alumni who have graced (and disgraced) our pages. Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for them ) there are correspondents around the country – and particularly from Bristol, Hereford, York and  Sandwell – who have kept us informed of  Wirral Council’s cast-offs and how they carry on regardless of any scandals or scrapes they’ve been involved in beforehand. However it would appear that we have a particular keen following in Cheshire East. Thanks mainly to the travels and travails of Wirral Council ‘s former head of law – the infamous Bill Norman.

Firstly we hear that there are currently no less than SIX ( count ’em) police investigations concerning Tory led Cheshire East Council. Read more here : Cheshire East police investigations

Kudos to the Cheshire Constabulary for actually taking allegations of Council corruption seriously which is more than be said of Merseyside Police who are seemingly too lazy and/or too busy exchanging funny handshakes and going to the confessional box to be bothered investigating legitimate concerns about Wirral Council . We’ll be interested to know whether the mud will stick and there will be a sticky end for Cheshire East councillors and council officers.

However particular thanks go out to  “A member of ItsRandom the Wirralleaks franchise in Cheshire East”  who sends us this particularly interesting missive concerning Mr Norman and the use of Wirral based consultants ‘Sticky Change’. Now we know that ‘ Sticky Change’ may sound like an old Wirral Leaks headline from the days when we were covering stories about Wirral Council senior management sex romps but this change management consultancy firm website reads like satire to us : Sticky Change .  Their ‘Our Values’ page has to be seen to believed (and sorry we don’t believe any of it). Any one who uses the word ‘ Passionate’ to describe the process of making money is to be viewed with great suspicion as far as we’re concerned. And as for the ‘ look at my backside’ quip – oh do give over ! It’s more a case of all my arse as far as we’re concerned.We’re not sure whether Wirral Council have ever used ‘Sticky Change’ (perhaps somebody would like to enquire) . Meanwhile read this and weep :

Wirral Council and Cheshire East Council have far more in common than anyone realises, so its little wonder that whistle blowing staff and residents are in fear of speaking out. Bill Norman left his mark at both Councils, but the blame lies with those that allowed his appointment…..and they are the ones which always keep their jobs. When Councils appoint people like Bill Norman they know exactly what they are getting. Cheshire East and Wirral Council are not alone in appointing expendable people to take the flack when wrongdoing is exposed. 

Corporate organisations like to appoint people who share the values of the company, but what happens when the people at the top of an organisation not only tolerate wrongdoing but potentially reward employees via promotion for allowing it to happen. With these type of organisation all employees are seen as expendable. In fact to the people at the very top of many public sector organisations the sacrificing of employees is little more than a snake sacrificing its own skin – it means nothing because its still a snake. 

 

In fact looking at Bill Normans work history at other councils I would be amazed if Cheshire East Councils didn’t provide details of the payoff and compromise agreement as part of the employment contract for new starters. Most organisations want honest consciousness employees, but Cheshire East Council see these employees as potential whistle blowers and manage (bully) them out. 

 

Sticky Change…….

I feel Cheshire East Council spending over £150,000 to bring in a consultancy firm called Sticky Change in order to help the authority tackle its ‘bullying’ culture is more about creating good PR to fool the public into believing that the leopard really wants to change its spots. It was reported that Sticky Change worked with Everton Football club and this might help explain my point. 

 

Football is a results based business, and even when the decision was made by Everton FC to bring in Sticky Change the directors knew that the manager would still be the one picking the team to play a 442 system. It wont be any different at Cheshire East Council.

As Cheshire East Council seem committed to at least appear to be drag their reputation from out of the sewers then perhaps they would answer the question I made a week ago:

The real question is when did Sticky Change work with Torbay Council – before, during, or after Bill Normans employment with Torbay Council?

This is very important because Cheshire East Council need to be aware that the decision to choose Sticky Change as external consultants should be open to public scrutiny.

Sticky Change previously worked at Torbay Council and it is important to know if this was before, during, or after Bill Normans time with the council? If it was during or after Bill Normans time with Torbay Council then Bill Norman and Sticky Change may have a connection. 

The fact that CEC didn’t mention Torbay Council in their press release when naming who else Sticky Change had previously worked with seemed strange, so was it a deliberate omission to avoid drawing attention to any potential link?

Just months after the departure of Bill Norman from Cheshire East Council it was announced that Sticky Change would be brought in to tackle the bullying culture. So how and when did CEC first look at using the services of Sticky Change and did his overlap with Bill Normans time at CEC?

Sticky Change are based on the Wirral and whilst working at Wirral Council its believed that Bill Norman also lived on the Wirral (Bill might have continued to live on the Wirral whilst working at CEC). Given the points above and Bill Normans very close geographical relationship to Sticky Change on the Wirral there is a possibility that there is a connection/relationship between Bill Norman and Sticky Change. What steps have CEC taken to ensure that the decision to use Sticky Change (and their independence) will stand up to public scrutiny?

I cant speak on behalf of other people but I don’t think I would be comfortable discussing the bullying culture at CEC with consultants from Sticky Change if the above points remain unanswered. The fact that CEC didn’t seem to carry out any due diligence when appointing Bill Norman means how can anyone be sure that it wasn’t Bill Norman that recommended CEC to bring in Sticky Change?

Sticky Change (Consultants) Ltd

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05084024/filing-history

Sticky Change (Partners) Ltd

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05070937/officers"

Edited by Denise Lloyd
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