For reasons best known to the likes of Richard Samuel Thanet Council’s Chief Executive, the public and press will be excluded today from a General Purposes committee meeting that will apparently discuss the appointment of Donna Reed as Shared Services Director.
Despite the fact that a press release was sent out earlier 5 days ago on June 3rd, even quoting Mr Samuel, and pointing out that Leaders and Chief Execs from Thanet, Dover and Canterbury councils have already chosen “unanimously”, Donna Reed to be the Shared Services Director, why the secrecy?
Since it appears to be a done deal, what are councillors likely to know or discuss that cannot be in the public domain, surely it cannot be the wages offered to Donna Reed as these have already been advertised at a modest £90,000 - £100,000.
So what’s the big secret, well, Item 4 claims the following reasons excluding the press and public:-
“Information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and employees of, or office holders under the authority.”
“Condition: Information is exempt to the extent that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.”
Now I might be missing something here but the salary has been advertised, local councils have already publicised the deal, so unless they haven’t agreed already the actual salary there is no need for secrecy?
Unless of coarse some councillors have sufficient backbone to ask why we need to create this post and pay so much money particularly in the middle of the countries greatest financial crisis since most of us can remember.
Why is that local authorities, always have to pay out extra money to save money, we’re told and I’ll believe it when I see it, that 3.5 million will be saved by three councils over the next four years. Yeah righteo,
Just remember that last year Thanet’s Conservatives gave away a fat 15% increases to Thanet’s top bods just as the recession was biting, one councillor told me if they hadn’t, they would have been head hunted, presumably by equally gullible councillors from elsewhere.
I suppose in days gone by, this sort of thing would have been sorted out, down the lodge, still if they are trying to save money surely they could do without the meeting?