KCC have a remarkable record as far as it's relationships with senior management are concerned, as several high profile controversial events show a somewhat worrying aspect of an organisation, that used to promote itself as being excellent, although in fairness, some time after the dreadful state of affairs in childrens services became apparent, they eventually realised that the excellent tag was no longer tenable.
Anyhow as someone reported recently on my previous "Kent Watch" posting, rumours were rife as to the future of the current Chief Exective Officer Katherine Kerswell of the council or in Kent council orwellian newspeak Managing Director (Kent Conservative appear to view the council as if it were their own business), KCC have issued this Press Release
Since joining Kent County Council in May 2010, Katherine Kerswell has been an outstanding Managing Director. In a very tough financial climate and against a background of severe budget cuts, she has done a great deal to relieve the financial burden on Kent council tax payers and has implemented Paul Carter and the Cabinet’s strategy for reshaping the council. Significant savings have been made possible through the continuing restructuring process and the new operational framework presided over by Katherine Kerswell and the Corporate Management team so far.
We would like to make it clear that Katherine Kerswell is and remains the Managing Director of Kent County Council. It is completely untrue to suggest that she has been dismissed or put on garden leave.
Neither the council nor Katherine Kerswell will be making any further public statement.
Now when KCC say they wont make any further public statements and you can believe them, as has been the case in other instances of their extraordinary personnel relationships, and even when they do promise more information, they conviniently brush aside further comment, such as how they ran child services down in to a perilous state, yes you'll get bluster and a lot of effort from Kent Council's multimillion pound public relations machine but whether we ever get honest information is debatable in that case.
Anyway according to Local Government News website " Speculation grew this week that council leader Paul Carter was seeking to follow the recent move by Wiltshire Council by axing Ms Kerswell and assuming the managing director’s role himself. Wiltshire County Council has no chief officer as such, assuming that was true and of course its not, just what would, Kent possibly gain surely Kent Conservatives would not wish to blur the lines between politically neutral officers and partisan politicians.
It is outrageous to suggest that Paul Carter ( Leader of Kent Tories) would compromise the traditional division between politcians and officers which marks British governmental organisations out from all those bent tinpot countries from South America to Middle East and beyond. What could he possibly gain?
Well I must conclude by saying that I am shocked, just as I was when, a company working for Kent's conservative council threatened me for commenting on Kent Councils Media, manipulation, credit card spending, big payouts for departing managers , or found evermore ways to burn your money like KCC's Healthwatch. I get the strong impression that Conservative Councillors would prefer us not to know how good they are at running things in Kent, so the truth is likely to remain behind closed doors(even though you as a taxpayer are funding them)