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Posted by: John Brace | 18th July 2016

What are the details of the recommendation to Wirral councillors about a senior management restructure at Wirral Council (1 redundancy, 5 promotions, 4 posts created and 4 vacant posts deleted)?

What are the details of the recommendation to Wirral councillors about a senior management restructure at Wirral Council (1 redundancy, 5 promotions, 4 posts created and 4 vacant posts deleted)?

Surjit Tour (Monitoring Officer (Wirral Council)) at the Coordinating Committee held on 15th June 2016

Surjit Tour (Monitoring Officer (Wirral Council)) at the Coordinating Committee held on 15th June 2016 (who is one of the employees recommended for an increase in pay)

Councillors on Wirral Council’s Employment and Appointments Committee will decide on changes to Wirral Council’s senior management next week on Monday 25th July 2016. If approved by councillors the restructure will take effect from November 2016.

This senior management restructure had been put on hold until Eric Robinson’s appointment by councillors as Chief Executive of Wirral Council in February 2015.

However these are the changes recommended to councillors and you can read the full details on Wirral Council’s website.

Redundancy (1)

There is a recommendation that one senior manager (the Head of Housing and Community Safety Ian Platt) be made redundant, offered early retirement and his post is deleted. However the recommendation from officers is that his name and the financial details of how much this will cost are kept out of the public domain before the public meeting and that councillors decide on whether to release the information about Ian Platt after the meeting has been held.

For comparison the early retirement of Kevin Adderley last year cost ~£49k in redundancy plus ~£207k in pension costs for early retirement but as Ian Platt is on a lower salary grade I estimate the costs to Wirral Council are roughly ~£30k in redundancy and ~£127k in pension costs total £157k.

Promotions (5)

The following senior managers are recommended to receive a promotion:

Tom Sault (who has been acting up to the s.151 officer role will be permanently appointed to it)

Surjit Tour (who has been Monitoring Officer since shortly after Bill Norman was suspended in 2012 will now receive extra pay for being Monitoring Officer too in addition to his other job)

Mark Smith (promoted from Head of Environment and Regulation to Strategic Commissioner for Environment)

Alan Evans (promoted from Investment and Business Manager to Strategic Commissioner for Growth)

Sue Talbot (promoted from Schools Commissioning Manager to Lead Commissioner for Schools)

Vacant posts deleted (4)

Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment (formerly Kevin Adderley)

Director of Resources (formerly Vivienne Quayle)

Head of Neighbourhoods and Engagement (formerly Emma Degg)

Head of Business Processes (formerly Malcolm Flanagan)

Posts deleted because postholder being promoted (3)

Investment and Business Manager (current postholder Alan Evans)
Schools Commissioner Manager (current postholder Sue Talbot)
Senior Manager (current postholder unknown)

Posts created (if approved by councillors) 4

Transformation Director (grade HS2 (£68,011 to £75,567))
Assistant Director: Commissioning Support (grade HS2 (£68,011 to £75,567))
Assistant Director: Community Services* (grade HS2 (£68,011 to £75,567))
Assistant Director: Adult and Disability Services* (grade HS2 (£68,011 to £75,567))

*Note new posts marked with * are recommended to be recruited internally from existing Wirral Council employees.

Penna will be advising Wirral Council’s Employment and Appointments Committee &Wirral Council officers on appointments to these four posts at a cost of £thousands per each post. If the creation of the new posts is agreed by councillors, councillors will also decide who the successful applicants are.

The councillors on Wirral Council’s Employment and Appointments Committee (although the councillors below can send a deputy in their place if they can’t make a particular meeting) are:

Cllr Adrian Jones (Chair) (Labour)
Cllr Phil Davies (Vice-Chair) (Labour)
Cllr George Davies (Labour)
Cllr Ann McLachlan (Labour)
Cllr Moira McLaughlin (Labour)
Cllr Jeff Green (Conservative)
Cllr Lesley Rennie (Conservative)
Cllr Phil Gilchrist (Liberal Democrat)

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Responses

  1. The special meeting of Wirral Council’s Employment and Appointments Committee (referred to above) will be held on Monday 25th July 2016 starting at 6.00pm in Committee Room 2 on the ground floor, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED.

    Agenda items 1-5 are listed as being planned to be held in public. The above article relates to agenda items 3 (Chief Officer Structure – The New Operating Model), 5 (Exempt Information – Exclusion of Members of the Public) and 6 (Exempt Appendix 10) Redundancy and pension costs for Head of Housing.

  2. John, as I scrolled down … the face of 1,000 cover ups hoved into view.

    I’d suggest that the overriding concern, the one that sweeps all else before it will be this>>>

    “Are we looking out for the wellbeing and future career prospects of those who know where the bodies are buried?”

    • Well the Wirral Council officers who could be affected by the proposals for the senior management restructure won’t be allowed to be present at the part of the public meeting when it’s decided. It would be a prejudicial conflict of interest.

      That doesn’t mean they can’t hover (not literally hover) in the corridor outside though.

      Are you referring to Surjit Tour’s role as Monitoring Officer (dealing with complaints about councillors) or his role as a solicitor advising committees on which councillors sit (such as the Cabinet, Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee etc) or his role in deciding on whether call in can be waived or his role in making s.36 decisions over FOI requests or something else?

      Or Tom Sault’s role in dealing with objections to the accounts?

      Or Mark Smith’s role in dealing with Streetscene matters from councillors?

  3. Must be great working for the Council! all over paid and under worked!

    • Well part of the reason why salary levels are so high at this level is the people have to work within a “political environment”, that is answer questions from politicians (and to a lesser extent the media) and be responsible for what happens not just by people they directly line manage, but people below that.

      So you need people that not only have a background in that particular area, but with leadership skills too.

      Middle management also have to answer for what happens in their work to managers above them, managers below them, politicians and other third parties (such as contractors, media etc).

      In addition people at the senior management level can be made redundant by councillors or indeed removed from their post. There is a lot more public scrutiny over what they do.

  4. G’day John

    You say

    Well part of the reason why salary levels are so high at this level is the people have to work within a “political environment”………..

    John that is a polite way of saying they are just in a gang, a posh gang.

    A gang that is not very street wise but is supported by fellow clowncillors with the blessing of the law to do what it wants and cock up just because they can or because they are lazy purple headed buffoons and get away with it.

    Ooroo

    James

    • Sorry if I spoke in local government speak there. “Political environment”, it means these unelected employees working in senior management have in some cases more power than the politicians that they answer to. The decisions of senior management can affect hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of people.

      So there have to be checks and balances you see… to prevent misuse of power.

      It’s up to the people really how much of a close eye they want to keep on politicians and the public sector…


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