4 October 2012

Nick Walkley Walks to Haringey

Barnet Council

Haringey Council
There we have it. The Barnet Chief Exec pocketed £250,818 (including the pension pot payment which is simply deferred pay) and the Haringey Chief Executive got £233,862 (returning officer fees deducted for a fair comparison). Now the difference is £16,956 or some people's salary and you might think that if you are paid a six figure sum it doesn't matter but a drop in salary always rankles.

Why go?

Has non-stick Nick finished what he came here to do? Well Mr Mustard would say not, as he is leaving before the One Barnet contracts have been awarded and an extra 6 months to make sure they are working properly would be the actions of a person who finishes the job.

Has non-stick left behind a good team of well trained up senior managers and is there a candidate who can step into his shoes? No. We are in the midst of a senior management restructure. The Chief Finance Officer has taken his £1,000 a day habit to East Sussex where it swelled to more than £1,100 a day (and where the rumour is he won't be staying). Would a Town Hall Tax Dodger get a warm welcome as the new Chief Executive? Somehow Mr Mustard doubts it.

Who else have we got at the top of the organisation who could take over? Who is that eminently forgettable Assistant Chief Executive who is trying to get squatters out of a building by, yes, giving them a building. We might as well let the squatters stay where they are, especially as they are doing such a good job. What was her name, oh that's it, Julie camera-shy Taylor. We can't have a Chief Executive who is afraid of their own shadow. Any other Directors up to the job? - None of them seem at all inspiring.

Mr Mustard is now thinking about non-stick Nick's legacy. What has he done for Barnet? Mr Mustard couldn't think of anything so he went for help. He downloaded Nick's performance report for the last quarter.

Barnet Council Chief Executive q1 Performance report 2012-13

So what fantastic achievements were there in the months of April, May & June 2012? 

The report calls for the top 3 achievements. Somehow Nick listed 4. He really should read the question before answering.

Moved teams into a call centre. Mr Mustard tested the call centre and it was a failure; uncaring and inhumane, insisting that the disabled have to apply for their blue badges on-line. Not an achievement to be proud of.

Delivery of the new website to timetable. Mr Mustard has the original timetable. The website was only a year or two late and it is horrible and cost over £700,000.

Launch of the Big Society Innovation Fund. "I gave away free money". For that we should haul non-stick up onto our shoulders and parade him through the streets of Barnet, shouldn't we? OK, maybe not.

Successful transfer of the Hampstead Garden Suburb library to the residents. So non-stick claims credit for giving a library away; not sure many people would agree that was an achievement, can you hear the cheering from Friern Barnet?

It looks like non-stick hasn't achieved much for a man costing us a quarter of a million pounds a year. Get yourself over to Haringey as soon as you like non-stick. You won't be missed here especially by those who now have the job of undoing One Barnet.

The worry is who we will now get in his place. Someone with good people management skills who gets out there and really listens and just quietly gets on with implementing sensible policies that work and doesn't have a slogan and doesn't think they should cost us a quarter of a million a year. A salary of £100,000 is ample. The new incumbent might have to do a hatchet job on those earning more than that but possibly if the senior management were all cut and not replaced the staff might just be able to get on with their jobs and actually get things done.

The future is in the hands of the seven councillors who make up the Chief Officers Appointments Panel whose members are not obviously listed on the council website (stand by in FOI!)

Which seven councillor's judgment do you trust?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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