Monday, 19 July 2010



Despite serious concerns expressed by Labour councillors at Thursday's meeting of Thanet District Council, the current Conservative administration went ahead with their proposals to re-instate the Deputy Chief Executive post that they also insist will be 'remunerated accordingly'. This was against the background of threatened cuts to large numbers of jobs at TDC for lower level workers.

Labour Shadow Cabinet member Cllr Richard Nicholson explained that the financial costs of the proposal were simply not provided in the report being discussed and moved an amendment calling for the issue to be referred to the General Purposes Committee where more financial detail could be made available.

During a long and blustering response, Conservative Cabinet member Cllr Chris Wells tried to ridicule opposition members for their caution and at one point foolishly demanded "we should make the decision now and look at the detail later".

Labour Deputy Leader Cllr Alan Poole said "I am really mystified as to why, at a time when TDC are considering redundancies, councillors are being asked to agree to re-establish the post of Deputy Chief Executive and 'remunerate accordingly'. I don't suppose that means a 'salary reduction'. Surely this is not the time to be increasing the salary bill and it will certainly send the wrong message to our hard working staff and to Council Tax payers".

Labour Group Leader Cllr Clive Hart explained that during the evening councillors had done their best to help with the current financial situation by cutting their own numbers of Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet posts, and that councillors allowances would also be frozen later in the meeting. He said "Conservative's say - we're all in this together. Well, leading officers at TDC have been 'mollycoddled' for far too long and they need to understand they are not be exempt from the realities that face the rest of us".

Throughout the past year, the departure of the former Deputy Chief Executive to Ashford had been seen as an opportunity to cut the post completely and accordingly make financial savings in the senior management team at TDC. The Conservative decision to re-instate the post ends that approach completely and could have a serious detrimental effect on staff morale by fostering a feeling of 'one rule for management and another for the workers'.

Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office. 44 Northdown Road, Margate, CT9 2RW.

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