Finally the local papers have picked up the news reported earlier this week that Thurrock chief executive Angie Ridgwell was leaving the council. Her statement, however, proves our point that the bureaucracy in local government – and even the wider public sector perhaps – is out of control and growing at an unsustainable rate:
“This will allow me to take my career in a different direction so I can explore other prospects in the wider public sector that will provide opportunities for me to play to my strengths and build on the experience that I have gained in Thurrock”
I’ve highlighted the key phrase that emphasises the musical-chairs character of the bureaucracy. They hop from one public sector job to another, certain of employment and all the benefits of office. Never mind that council tax has doubled and services cut back, the record of failure is ignored and rewarded with open arms, no doubt, at other councils.
If it’s the case that the chief executive was shoved out due to underachieving – remember she ordered an increase in the size of the bureaucracy despite council voting to shrink it – then it’s a boon to Thurrock council. But what Thurrock’s leadership must maintain is that there be no golden goodbye, no pay offs and that the new chief executive be paid at the current rate. There will be no mercy from this side if we see another episode like that in Suffolk where the new chief executive was awarded an indefensible £70,000 pay increase upon arrival.