Of all stories this week, this one takes the biscuit as the most bizarre. You guessed right, it involves local government.
Mat Taylor, a finance officer in Cambridgeshire, is moving to Australia and will still claim a taxpayer-funded salary to manage Fenland District Council’s finances. There are a number of reasons why this is potty. How is he meant to be brought into conference call meetings when it’s night time in Australia during the day here? Is his contract nocturnal? Somehow I doubt his union would allow that!
First we get the Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council – you know, the one earning £220,000 – justifying her high salary because the job of a Chief Executive is “high risk”. Yeah, those paper cuts can be quite the occupational hazard…
Now we get a bureaucrat flying off to the other side of the world, still earning a salary for a job he says he has to hold onto because “it was difficult to replace a senior person straight away”. Rewind a bit and you’ll see he has already given his council 3-months notice, meaning he gave the damn council enough time to find someone to replace him!
I swear you could not make up a more ludicrous set of circumstances in government even if you tried. Should any government apparatchiks read that last sentence, please don’t take it as a challenge, more a state of despair at the banality, incompetence and wasteful culture inherent in our governing class.