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HT take the Council to task (finally)


twowheelsgood
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Last weeks HT leader column was a scathing attack against the ongoing cult of secrecy that still operates within the Council and specifically why no one is allowed to know what's happening about Peter Robinson - is he in or out? Still no one knows or is telling. On balance it looks like he's gone.

 
Unusually, the leader is now online and is provoking some useful comments, inc a passionate speech from the usually retiring bobby47.
 
 
Hereford Times opinion: Public has a right to know the facts
 
"He was until recently one of the most important officers in Herefordshire Council – holding the purse strings of our squeezed public finances.
 
But trying to get the facts from our own local authority, regarding the possible departure of chief financial officer Peter Robinson – our public servant, whose salary is funded from public money – is like trying to delve into the boardroom machinations of a private company.
 
The circumstances are probably completely unremarkable – perhaps we’ve got the wrong end of the stick, but the council has insisted on maintaining a shroud of secrecy over the matter which we would argue is unreasonable.
 
And it begs the question of why?
 
We will get an answer, having submitted an FOI request, but you’ve got to ask – should the public have to pay for our request (for it will cost the council money), when it is a perfectly legitimate request for information which we would argue should be in the public domain?
 
People are entitled to ask what, if anything, is our publicly funded, democratically elected council hiding?
 
If there are ramifications for the public purse due to circumstances surrounding this matter, we, the public, have a democratic right to know."
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There has been a level of corruption within the council for many years and uncovering it is the problem.When you have more than half a dozen public servants with there fingers in the pie it compounds the issue. we do have a legitimate right to know what is happening in the Peter Robinson affair.Why has our MP decided not to get involved might well be everyone turning up at his next surgery and get him to work on the public's behalf.

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A COUNCIL'S former chief executive - who quit his £160,000-a-year job after just five months - left with a settlement of £90,000.

(extract from Daily Express - 1st July 2016
 
Paul Najsarek left his role as boss of Bolton Council last November in order to be with his family. 

 

 
Council bosses say they had been unable to reveal the figure any sooner as a confidentiality clause in his contract prevented them from doing so unless he gave permission. 
 
They say he has repeatedly refused to give that permission - but the figure is now in the public domain as the council is legally bound to now publish its annual statement of accounts.
 
 
Mr Najsarek, who has since gone on to land the chief executive's position at Ealing Council, London, where he takes home a salary of about £170,000, would not comment. 
 
The council says it has been able to recoup the money paid to Mr Najsarek by not filling a deputy chief executive's position. 
 
 
The council said "It has been a difficult experience and we hope we can put it behind us. 
 
"The council has learned valuable lessons." 

 

£90.000 appears to be a popular amount used by local authorities. This figure cropped up in this old post "Herefordshire Council has created a new £90,000 a year role"

 
Groucho Marx had it summed up in the classic Animal Crackers film - Hello I Must Be Going
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Ah yes, the old 'valuable lessons will be learnt' excuse - line 1, page 1 of the bumper book of risible and contemptible excuses to throw at the public when a club member scores a bag of swag and moves on to do the same elsewhere. Where are the Councillors asking the questions as to how this happened? Same as Herefordshire - they're nowhere to be seen, silent, uncomprehending, doing as they're told or cooking up their own beneficial deals - planning permission anyone? Kudos then to Cllr Bob Matthews for daring to ask the questions about the missing £10m. Unfortunately, it will undoubtedly cost us a lot of money, but, have no fear, valuable lessons will be learnt.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
Herefordshire Council

Employment Panel

Friday 2 September 2016 2.00 pm

 

Agenda item 5

 

Preliminary investigation


 

To consider the findings of a preliminary investigation into the conduct of a council employee.

 

 

Exempt information notice

It is anticipated that this report will contain information which is exempt from publication and during discussion of this information the public may be excluded from the meeting.

 

Representations on exempt information

If you wish to make representations that the public should not be excluded from the meeting during discussion of this item please write to the Monitoring Officer stating the reasons why you think the discussion should be held in public.

 

How can you make representations about an item to be discussed if you don't know the background, other than you want to see the reaction of councillors concerning this matter and whether there is any cover up in play.

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The HT reported online about Powys CC charging the Royal British Legion for road closure in Hay.

 

Some commenters took this as a good opportunity to voice their opinions about Peter Robinson (remember him?).  Comments were  not altogether flattering but true.  These comments were very quickly removed - and the HT were bringing HC to task what happened to that? That certainly was very shortly lived.

 

This employment panel is believed to be featuring the future of the missing Finance man. 

 

If there is no information given out people will speculate and gossip and naturally so want to know what is happening with what is essentially their money.

 

So come on HT do what you are supposed to dig dig and report - I will give you a few starters - Amey/Council Farms/Peter Robinson 

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Wow, that is looking serious - when they're done with him, will we have an investigation into the competence of those that shortlisted and employed him? This persons history is there for all to see quite literally by a simple online search.

 

As for Amey, we must not forget the employee who set it up left with a payoff of £250k, leaving us with the shambolic PCT merger as well. We've been picking up the pieces and paying for it ever since, and its not done yet, with the £40m court case still pending. On his appointment Councillor Roger Phillips, then leader of Herefordshire Council trotted out the classic "We felt that if we were to be the best, we needed to recruit the best." (Hereford Times).

 

(In fairness to the HT, it is run on a shoestring - I'm told that the Council's press office budget is double the cost of running the HT - Council paying for the best, obviously).

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I hope that if this employment meeting is to be done properly that Mr Robinson does not get a huge payoff along with the obligatory "gagging order". I have heard that we have been paying his salary for the last 5 months when he has not been in the office and it seems the department he was in charge of couldn't provide accurate reports for Councillors . Apparently budget reports were resissused on more than one occasion with different figures every time. If the man couldnt do the job expected of him why are we still paying for him now? Is it he has friends in high places?

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As for Amey, we must not forget the employee who set it up left with a payoff of £250k, leaving us with the shambolic PCT merger as well. We've been picking up the pieces and paying for it ever since, and its not done yet, with the £40m court case still pending. On his appointment Councillor Roger Phillips, then leader of Herefordshire Council trotted out the classic "We felt that if we were to be the best, we needed to recruit the best." (Hereford Times).

Would that be gurning buffoon Chris "Brain Dead" Bull you're referring to? A man utterly incapable of forming a coherent sentence, spoken or written. He thought nothing of blowing £100k of public money on redecorating his office or drafting in a platoon of "interim assistant chief executives" on £600 per day plus expenses to perform the dirty work he was too gutless to do. A lot of the Council's current problems with bullying by sociopathic management staff can be laid at his door. He let his minions loose creating a culture of fear which persists this day. If he's the best, I'd hate to see the worst.

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Would that be gurning buffoon Chris "Brain Dead" Bull you're referring to? A man utterly incapable of forming a coherent sentence, spoken or written. He thought nothing of blowing £100k of public money on redecorating his office or drafting in a platoon of "interim assistant chief executives" on £600 per day plus expenses to perform the dirty work he was too gutless to do. A lot of the Council's current problems with bullying by sociopathic management staff can be laid at his door. He let his minions loose creating a culture of fear which persists this day. If he's the best, I'd hate to see the worst.

No, worse, Michael Hainge.

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While you were away...

  1.  

    Employment Panel tomorrow cancelled. http://councillors.herefordshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=497&MId=6033 â€¦ Another month's pay so I hope the individual is working throughout the process

 

 

Would that be cancelled because a deal has been done and a very large sum of our money is bang paid into a private account?

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