Why The Secrecy? Frightened We Might Have Clapped Our Hands?

Following our “More Secrecy At Council” article about the Senior Management Structure being held in secret, the story is out. Quite why the saving of over £100,000 a year on a Director level overpaid jobsworth post should have been a secret beggars belief. Perhaps the sounds of us clapping our hands at the loss of another huge salary might have been unbearable? West Lancashire Borough Council has agreed changes to its senior management team, which will save more than £100,000 a year, whilst continuing to deliver on its ambitions for the Borough.

At its meeting on 18 October 2017, the Council agreed the voluntary redundancy of the Director of Leisure and Wellbeing, in a move which means that together with previously agreed measures, the Council will make a total of £267,000 in efficiency savings next year from restructuring. Who knows, the leisure business of WLBC might have been different if the vast income from the council owned Beacon Park Golf Course landfill  had come to the council rather than to private developers!

Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of the Council has said “The Council is under financial pressure, with the need to make an estimated £2.7m of savings over the next three years, and we are keeping our operating arrangements under regular review. The changes will enable the Council to make a significant saving, whilst continuing to deliver the Council’s priorities.”

From 1 February 2018, the Council’s management team will comprise:
Kim Webber – Chief Executive
Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey – Director of Housing and Inclusion
Heidi McDougall – Director of Leisure and Environment
John Harrison – Director of Development and Regeneration
Terry Broderick – Borough Solicitor
Marc Taylor – Borough Treasurer

In terms of transparency the Director of Leisure and Wellbeing post carries a remuneration of £78,515 per annum. A redundancy payment of £84,323 will be made to the Director of Leisure and Wellbeing. Council policy is that when making posts redundant there should be a payback period of less than three years. The changes agreed by Council provide a payback period within 2.87 years.

Redundancy costs have been calculated in accordance with the Council’s Redundancy Policy, which complies with the Local Government (Early Termination of Employment) (Discretionary Compensation) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006. Pension strain cost will be paid to the Pension Fund of £175,998. The pension strain cost has been calculated in accordance with the Local Government Superannuation Scheme Regulations.

Efficiency savings of £267,000 will be made by the Council from restructuring in 2018/19, £174,000 of which will be made by the General Revenue Fund, and £93,000 by the Housing Revenue Account.

Author: westlancashirerecord

I am a pensioner. I am a strong supporter of the rights of elderly and disabled residents of West Lancashire to receive equal treatment from the WLBC that unfortunately does not agree, leading to the social exclusion of some immobile disabled residents. My personal suggestion of honouring the County Regiment led to us having probably the proudest day ever in West Lancashire. I wrote "Dear Cllr Owens. I'm writing to let you know how pleased I am my suggestion of honouring our County regiment is to be proposed to Council. It is the greatest honour we can bestow on our brave soldiers who make or risk the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe, and I appreciate what Council is doing". Such a shame then that a stupid borough councillor, Sudworth, untruthfully claimed the idea came from Cllr Owens who responded to me "You will be pleased to learn that this evening the motion passed unanimously. Colonel Amlot from the Regiment was accorded a standing ovation and we look forward to a parade and march through Ormskirk next year. Thank you". After the Parade I wrote to Cllr Owens "I was reading through the emails we exchanged after I made the suggestion to honour our County Regiment. As you said today, we got there in the end, and what an end? This celebration of our Regiment was quite simply, as my original mail said, the greatest honour of all. To see all these young people who risk their lives for us was so moving. Little did I know what Council could do and how our residents would react to it all. Well, we should all be so proud of this great day. I know I am".

4 thoughts on “Why The Secrecy? Frightened We Might Have Clapped Our Hands?”

    1. You will never be made redundant from your duty to fund these payments. First there was WLBC Bill Taylor, who, according to the Tax Payers Alliance, picked up a massive £340,518 when he took voluntary redundancy from the council. Mr Taylor’s golden handshake included £67,137 in wages (his annual salary was £120,000), £116,877 came in redundancy payments, and more than £150,000 was from employer pension contributions. Then there were 11 staff in the Lancashire County Council who had £100,000-plus brackets, with chief executive Phil Halsall picking up more than £238,000 including pension payments. Then came WLBC Gill Rowe, voluntary redundancy payment of £99,575. And now there is the current voluntary redundancy payment of £84,323 to leisure director Dave Tilleray after receiving a salary of £78,515 per annum. Why do we let them volunteer to leave for these huge payments and then discuss them in secret council meetings? They have to announce them anyway.

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