We’ve only just caught up with Monday’s Wirral Council Employment & Appointments Committee after giving you the heads up last week that Head of Housing Ian Platt’s tidy retirement package was being discussed.
Needless to say nothing to report on that score as prolific film-maker John Brace was politely asked to leave before that golden handshake was signed off.
However we were treated to a rare speaking engagement by reclusive CEO Eric “Feeble” Robinson who introduced his “New Operating Model” to replace his predecessor Graham Burgess’s “Non Operating Model”. We say this as there seemed to be an acknowledgement that Burgess’s appointment of so-called Super Directors was an expensive and wasteful extra tier of management . Council “leader” Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies seemed keen to draw a line under Burgess’s embarrassing tenure by declaring forlornly ” we are where we are” whilst repeatedly using his Deputy Ann McLachlan ‘s catchphrase ” going forward”. No wonder she sat virtually mute for the entire meeting – the one trick pony had lost her trick.
Meanwhile Stressed Eric was proving his charisma by-pass operation had been a complete success as he appeared to be playing a game of buzzword bingo on Mogadon. We think the term “Strategic Hub” says it all.
What was dispiriting for us to observe was the way that the lurch towards a business model which prioritises putting public services into the hands of private companies was so enthusiastically received by one and all despite the fact that Wirral Council is NOT a business.
Just a thought : how about employing managers who are truly committed to public service and not to their over-inflated paypackets?.
Whilst Stressed Eric briefly mentioned the C word – “culture” that is – he swiftly moved on to more familiar territory and concentrated on far less problematic areas such as “structures” and “processes”.
There were a few other interesting observations to make along the way such as Department of Adult Social Services Director Graham Hobgoblinson bagging himself an Assistant Director – as let’s face it he needs all the help he can get despite , with the impending closure of Girtrell Court , finally getting rid of all in-house services. Let’s hope he has better success than with previous DASS Assistant Directors!
We also noted that Joe Blott’s exit strategy has been put on hold and he will now be slotted in to the “New Operating Model” structure despite questions being asked about his “skill set” ( I think we can read between the lines what is meant by that can’t we?) . Of course Councillors must now be aware that Blott is calling the shots as he’s recently joined the Surjit Tour Job For Life Club. It must be the aspiration of every Wirral Council senior manager to wheedle your way into a position of power by means of your knowledge – which is less about knowledge of how to do you job and more about knowing where the bodies are buried……….