Yesterday we were contacted by Mike Casey of Your Thurrock – a superb grassroots new media current affairs website – with the surprise that yet another chief executive has left Thurrock council. What repercussions will this have for Thurrock’s taxpayers? It doesn’t look good considering the soaring salaries chief executives get jumping from one council to another, the culmination being the astonishing £220,000 given to the new chief executive of Suffolk County Council earlier in the year.
Being a Thurrock resident, I was invited last night to discuss the matter, talk a bit about the TPA and the areas in local government we’re watching out for:
If anything, the priority for Thurrock council should be that they keep the chief executive’s salary under control – we simply do not have the economy to pay for ever-increasing public sector salaries. They must ensure the search to find a new chief executive is cost efficient – Three Rivers council feared searching for a new chief executive would cost so much they decided to give into his demands and let him work a four-day-week on full pay.
Finally a bit of advice for Thurrock council: don’t go with another chief executive from another council. Across the country we’ve seen our taxes double and service cutbacks. The current crop of chief execs, switching posts like they were in a game of musical chairs, just aren’t delivering value for money and quality services. Perhaps it’s worth appointing a businessman or someone with a record of efficiency and cost cutting, who doesn’t need a six figure salary and who can return some cash back to Thurrock taxpayers’ pockets? Thurrock council can potentially take the radical step and look outside the box of current officers and work that bit harder to lower council tax next year. We intend to keep a close eye on them to see whether they will opt for innovative change or stick with the wasteful status quo.