Will councillors agree to Clare Fish retiring early at a cost of £105,000 tonight?
ED – edited at 15:39 on 10.7.17 to add sentence about amendments moved by opposition councillors.
Tonight Wirral Council’s councillors meet for two public meetings. Both are in the Council Chamber at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED.
The first regular public meeting of all 66 councillors starts at 6.00 pm and I’ll hopefully be asking questions during agenda item 5 of the Vice-Chair of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee Cllr Paul Stuart (as the Chair Cllr Moira McLaughlin is unable to make the meeting tonight).
The second meeting is an extraordinary meeting called by 21 Conservative councillors. The requisition notice for that meeting and the motion on greenbelt policy can both be found on Wirral Council’s website.
Buried in the supplementary agenda for the first meeting on pages 15-16 are two previously exempt reports to the Employment and Appointments Committee meeting on the 27th June 2017 (see pages 15-16).
The reports show that the recommendation to spend £105,000 on early retirement for Clare Fish (Executive Director for Strategy) and to create a new management post of Director of Strategy and Partnerships at a salary range of £103k-£115k (£146k including on costs).
As both the new post has a salary of over £100,000 and the early retirement cost for Clare Fish is over £100,000, both decisions can’t be delegated to the Employment and Appointments Committee, but instead the Employment and Appointments Committee makes a recommendation for a decision by a meeting of all Wirral Council’s councillors tonight.
The votes on the recommendation agreed in private at the Employment and Appointments Committee to do this was as follows.
For 4 (Cllr Phil Davies (proposer), Cllr Bernie Mooney (seconder), Cllr George Davies* and Cllr Chris Jones*)
Against 3 (Cllr Chris Blakeley, Cllr Lesley Rennie*, Cllr Phil Gilchrist*)
Abstain 1 (Cllr Adrian Jones*)
All votes with an asterisk are educated guesses, as the meeting chose to exclude the press and public from the decision (as you can watch below) and the names of the people voting are not recorded in the draft minutes (apart from the proposer and seconder who are assumed to vote for their recommendations!).
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The details on the change to make it a legal requirement that all councillors voted on generous severance packages over £100,000 was referred to in further detail in a blog post from 2015 about a proposed £110,000 severance package for Liverpool City Council’s outgoing Director of Public Health.
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