Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Freer’s in a Pickle!
Shadow Community Secretary Eric Pickles announced today that the next Conservative government will purge the fat cats from Town Halls. Officers earning six figure salaries will lose their jobs as councils are forced to merge frontline services and backroom operations in order to save taxpayers money.
In Barnet, we employ 13 officers earning more than £100,000 per annum. The recently departed Chief Executive Leo Boland was on £185,000. In the light of Mr Pickles’ announcement, will Mike Freer ignore Conservative Party policy and appoint another overpriced snout in the trough to replace him?
A Conservative Party source said: “There is super-inflation of chief executive pay that bears no correlation to the level of services they provide. There is a bureaucracy and self-feeding hierarchy of senior officials that are completely unaccountable to the local community...This urgently needs to be addressed.”
The new Conservative policy also throws a spanner in the works for Freer’s pet project - The Future Shape of the Council. For whilst Future Shape talks about drastically slimming down the council by “outsourcing” services, there are no plans to reduce the numbers of chief officers.
Now that these senior officers are facing the order of the boot along with the rank and file, let’s see if they are still willing to support Freer’s privatisation plans. Barnet could be heading for its very own Winter of Discontent.