Friday 14 September 2012

Any shift in cuts strategy after Daniel's departure?

There is no official news of the pay-off that Gareth Daniel is likely to get following his departure as Chief Executive but informed speculation starts at £1m.  His salary was more than £200,000 and there are precedents in Brent for handsome pay-offs of senior officers including that of a former Director of Education.

The cover arrangements for the post are in several stages:  Fiona Ledden, Director of Legal and Procurement, will be the immediate stand-in but she will be replaced by an 'external interim Chief Executive' in the next few weeks, pending the appointment of a new Chief Executive which could take several months.

If the clash between Daniel as Chief Executive and Muhammed Butt as leader was over cuts, then budget plans could be in for some revision as well as the crucial decision over whether to raise Council Tax. This is an area where senior council officers (4 out of 6 of whom declared their support for Daniel) are likely to intervene in the interregnum which coincides with preparation for next year's budget. It is here that the Director of Regeneration and Major Projects will be influential.

Brent Council Executive does not seem to have considered the possible deletion of the Chief Executive post as some councils have done LINK

Fiona Ledden, in my experience of  observing council meetings, is a woman of few words, but those she does utter, as perhaps befits her legal background, are always on the side of caution and following the letter of the law.

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