They never learn do they? After we exposed North Lanarkshire council for squandering £73,000+ on a spin doctor to tell residents how good the council is, Southampton City council’s Chief Executive wants to follow up by throwing away £100,000 on an image consultant. The reason the City council is hiring a new, £100k-a-year, apparatchik is because…and this should really set tempers to ‘AARGHG’…the council believe current media relations staff within the council “have relative inexperience in the area of media relations”.
If there are people working for Southampton City council who are unqualified – sack them and bring in people who can do the job. More to the point, why does a council need so many media relations lackeys and spivs when the first job of councils should be to lower our taxes and deliver a frontline service!!
As a waste story, this is jaw dropping. But the wider issue is the role of a chief executive. How can it be that an unelected chief executive can arbitrarily spend taxpayers’ money willy-nilly? There surely must be a check on chief executive over-reach within our councils. Perhaps it’s worth sending an email to the democratically elected leader of the council, Cllr Alec Samuels, asking whether he intends to veto the chief executive’s spending spree!