Bridgend Council spends £30,000 recruiting new Chief Executive

July 10, 2012 4:13 PM

As councils across the UK look for more imaginative ways to make savings, sharing senior management with neighbouring authorities is increasingly common. Local authorities sharing senior management and Chief Executives now include: South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse; South Northamptonshire and Cherwell; and Havant and East Hampshire.

Unfortunately for taxpayers in Bridgend, their council has not bothered to join the ranks of those sharing senior management. Not only have they opted to replace their outgoing Chief Executive – on an eye-watering six-figure salary – but they have also spent over £30,000 on the process of finding this new bureaucrat-in-chief. In total, the search has cost £32,364 in Bridgend taxpayers’ money, including £16,000 on documentation and administration, £11,500 on interviews and candidate testing and £5,000 on advertising. Obviously the Council should ensure that it recruits someone competent, but commissioning top head-hunters Odgers Berndtson to do so seems excessive.

Do they really need a new chief executive at all? There are many examples where councils have successfully shaved millions from their staffing costs through sharing senior management. The neighbouring London Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea are saving around £200,000 each year through sharing chief executives alone. Taxpayers in Bridgend deserve better value for money and local people are right to be furious at the way their money is being wasted. The Council should ask itself whether it really needs to replace the £130,000-a-year boss, or whether it could, as others have, simply do without.As councils across the UK look for more imaginative ways to make savings, sharing senior management with neighbouring authorities is increasingly common. Local authorities sharing senior management and Chief Executives now include: South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse; South Northamptonshire and Cherwell; and Havant and East Hampshire.

Unfortunately for taxpayers in Bridgend, their council has not bothered to join the ranks of those sharing senior management. Not only have they opted to replace their outgoing Chief Executive – on an eye-watering six-figure salary – but they have also spent over £30,000 on the process of finding this new bureaucrat-in-chief. In total, the search has cost £32,364 in Bridgend taxpayers’ money, including £16,000 on documentation and administration, £11,500 on interviews and candidate testing and £5,000 on advertising. Obviously the Council should ensure that it recruits someone competent, but commissioning top head-hunters Odgers Berndtson to do so seems excessive.

Do they really need a new chief executive at all? There are many examples where councils have successfully shaved millions from their staffing costs through sharing senior management. The neighbouring London Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea are saving around £200,000 each year through sharing chief executives alone. Taxpayers in Bridgend deserve better value for money and local people are right to be furious at the way their money is being wasted. The Council should ask itself whether it really needs to replace the £130,000-a-year boss, or whether it could, as others have, simply do without.

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