1 July 2011

Gravy train - column 4 of 8

So the column of the Corporate Structure Chart that we are going to look at today is column 4 - "Corporate Governance". This carriage of the train holds 95 people - yes Mr Mustard does agree that it is somewhat overcrowded in there and it puts out lots of smoke and has mirrored walls. The carriage is beautifully decorated on the outside and is named "transparency & democracy"  but somehow no information ever comes out of the carriage. There is no lighting; it travels completely in the dark. Transparency & Democracy has rarely been glimpsed on the railway tracks of Barnet although you hear it talked about all of the time.

The chief conductor in this carriage is Jeff Lustig. He is rather grandly titled the Director of Corporate Governance. He gets £132,480 p.a. for trying to keep the train on the rails. The present section of track is extremely bumpy but that won't bother Mr Lustig. He had trouble with a piece of land on the sloped section that is Underhill I'm told but others can comment on that.He is also a stickler for making the train run on time. The special Audit train was being driven by Lord Palmer last month, oh what fun he had, and Lord Palmer wanted to stop and pick up a few more poor parishioners but Mr Lustig wouldn't have it; we've been 30 minutes at that stop and not a minute more. Lord Palmer is a sport though and he drove off very slowly so a few more passengers got aboard although some were still left behind on the platform. Despite buying a ticket for the train they were not allowed on board; it's no way to run a railway.

There are 3 assistant conductors.

Margaret Martinus must be very busy waving flags at everyone as she is the "Assistant Director - Legal" and there is lots of squabbling between train officials and just about everyone else. She also signed the recycling contract which I will soon enlighten you about. You might want to recycle Corporate Governance afterwards. Ms Martinus is paid £99,555 p.a.

Ms Aysen Giritli is the "Acting Head of Democratic Services" according to the corporate structure chart or the "Democratic Services Manager" according to the unaudited Accounts; now you know how it feels to be caught with the wrong type of ticket on the train although you thought you had the right one. Don't go getting in the first class carriage now Ms Giritli when you only have a second class ticket and a third class employer. Mind you, on £72,048 p.a. you can afford to travel first class wherever you go.

The third assistant conductor, are we on Indian Railways all of a sudden ?, is Sian Hughes, the "Head of Governance and Service Development" ( Mr Mustard has an idea - in the future no-one can have a job title which has more letters in it than in their name - that would make things simpler ) . She has been on this train for a while working her way up through the ranks. She now earns £72,048 p.a.

So there we have it. To run this shining beacon of this miscarriage of democracy costs £376,131 p.a. and it won't be long before Mr Mustard has checked out the ticket classes of all the other travellers and can give you the total annual spend.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. and we all know who the Fat Controller is, don't we, Mr M?

  2. I seem to remember that Mike Freer chopped the last 'Head of Democratic Services' (apparently he was one who wasn't 'Acting', like they do nowadays).

    Mr Long-Forgotten allegedly screwed up the revamp of Hendon Town Hall (with the usual overspend) and he got the usual big pay off and gagging clause to keep his mouth shut.

    Amusingly, Mike Freer's Cabinet meeting (Robocop and the Clones) was a bit of a farce a few days earlier, because the spanking new microphone system didn't work, and there was no public address system working in the cheap seats, where the public was sitting.

    I believe Austin Harney spoke to the Cabinet over his worries about easyCouncil job losses. Mike Freer came over all inclusive and sympathetic, in a 'wolf in sheep's clothing' piece of theatre.

  3. Your devotion to unpicking the corporate monstrosity is increasingly admirable. Of the 37 people named on the organisation chart less than half appear to have jobs involving direct management of services. Many of the posts are about internal management - necessary activity but does it need so many senior people? With such a weight of resources engaged in corporate management they should indeed do far better on matters such as procurement contracts. And of course they will additionally employ consultants for many of their tasks.

    Posted on behalf of Mr Warron Wastrels


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