Do we need a new Chief Executive Officer?

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  • #144440
    Councillor X
    Councillor X
    Participant

    The Council continues to run without a CEO and with Top Managers covering the post, so why don’t they remove the role and save up to £200k a year? Does a CEO add any more value to the Council? To me it is similar to the role of Mayor with them acting as a figurehead.

    If we have to have one for legal reasons could we share a CEO with Flintshire and Denbighshire and save two thirds of the cost?

    Also does anyone know if the saving in wages by not having a CEO has been included as a saving for this year? There must be a few grand in the pot by now.

    A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.

    #144441

    Matt
    Participant

    I think the situation we’re looking at here is called rudderless ship.

    We cannot rely on a set of anonymous people called Top Management who really have no accountability at the moment. As they can just currently blame the lack of CEO on anything that goes balls up. I’m also concerned that their commitment will waver if someone removes their free parking, then we’d just be left with Middle Management running the show (amusing results of absolutely nothing achieved but the creation of 15 new sub-committees confirmed).

    Also you need a Big Chief Executive to ensure all the monkeys in the pit (councillors) are kept in line & have their aims no matter how ridiculous turned into workable schemes. Also likely to operate as a consigliere to Clr Pritchard’s Leadership & would actually tell him & have sufficient rank to gain respect if he/she thought something was a bad idea. Whereas Top Management bods would likely just roll over and go ahead with anything.

    #144443
    Councillor X
    Councillor X
    Participant

    Matthew, I find your lack of faith disturbing.
    Top Managers are holding the Council together and with year on year cuts there are very few Top Managers left which would please you and everyone else who thinks they do not deserve perks.

    Do you not see the money that could be saved here? Sharing a CEO has worked for other Councils.
    “Around 45 councils across England share a chief executive and senior management team in about 20 different partnerships. Most also share at least some services. These councils have already delivered savings of at least
    £60 million through greater efficiencies and the other benefits of collaboration, with more savings planned.”

    Shared Management in local government

    A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.

    #144451

    Matt
    Participant

    Matthew, I find your lack of faith disturbing.
    Top Managers are holding the Council together and with year on year cuts there are very few Top Managers left which would please you and everyone else who thinks they do not deserve perks.

    Do you not see the money that could be saved here? Sharing a CEO has worked for other Councils.
    “Around 45 councils across England share a chief executive and senior management team in about 20 different partnerships. Most also share at least some services. These councils have already delivered savings of at least
    £60 million through greater efficiencies and the other benefits of collaboration, with more savings planned.”

    Shared Management in local government

    Nice Star Wars Quote – of course Darth Vader was Top Management and I think his style of management was a little aggressive and out of control. Because the CEO at the time Emperor Palpatine was largely absent for vast portions of Darth’s Tenure over the Empire’s forces, by the time Palpatine bothered to turn up from whatever important business he had to complete elsewhere in the Galaxy, Vader had already lost 1 Death Star at untold cost to the Empire’s economy and was definitely massively behind schedule on the construction of the second, who knows what additional costs had been ran up before the Emperor came back in. At that point it had all gone drastically wrong, I mean seriously allowing a bunch of fully armed and armoured soldiers with attack cycles, lasers and AT-ST scout walkers, which was meant to be guarding a mission critical force-field generator, to be overran and defeated by effectively a bunch of primitive teddy bears with clubs and sling shots. I mean really? Then of course due to lack of discipline and presence of CEO Emperor, Top Management Vader ultimately wasn’t at his best game and a bitter succession planning dispute where the CEO attempted to replace his 2nd in command with their son led to the loss of both the CEO and Top Management and the ultimate collapse of the Empire.

    All in all, you need a persistently present CEO in charge to deal with failings, a perception of things doing okay by just limping on with an ever-dwindling pool of top management might have built in failures that lead to catastrophic errors down the line. CEOs get paid “top whack” and “buck stops here” money so that they can take ultimate responsibility and make the overall judgement call on difficult decisions and add in crucial leadership where a team of top management, might try and drop/defer or pass the buck on by committee. They might cost £200k a year, but who knows where else is haemorrhaging money at the moment that is exceeding the savings made on £200k.

    It’s beggar belief to believe that a series of Top Managerial people wouldn’t benefit from a performance boost by having someone overseeing everything – big picture. Otherwise, why do we have a Prime Minister and then individual cabinet ministers? Surely if things were that simple we’d just scrap the PM and then allow the ministers within each section to bang their heads together and thrash out the running of the country?

    Leadership, Leadership, Leadership. If you look at why Apple became massively successful and into a global dominant position when Steve Jobs went back in charge of the company. You’ve got your design geniuses like Johnny Ive and other key people within Apple who made iPods/iPhones a success, but without the brutal and clinical decision making, drive and vision of someone like Jobs none of them would have been able to put it all together and deliver a world class product and then market it and distribute it and then turn that into billions and billons of annual global revenue. Likewise had they not tirelessly worked to find the right CEO to replace Jobs when he sadly fell ill and passed then the company would have quickly ended up in difficulties and fortunes dwindled.

    Now, I don’t know sufficient detail about the whole Chief Executive share scheme, but my main concern here is that ultimately it would be viewed as a pathway to create a council merger between Wrexham/Flintshire etc… as previously proposed, which I am not sure is the best decision at present. Equally, how can you guarantee that they will not be too far spread with very complex and different issues within each county. What’s stopping Flintshire from monopolising their time and Wrexham becoming neglected? We need someone in charge who can focus on Wrexham and sort out Wrexham’s issues.

    #144453
    Councillor X
    Councillor X
    Participant

    Matt, I burst out laughing reading that on my iPad in the middle of a meeting – excellent post.

    A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.

    #146588
    Councillor X
    Councillor X
    Participant

    Why re-advertise when there is another Wrexham/ Flintshire merger on the cards?
    Wrexham should share a Chief Executive Officer and save “£111,191 – £127,513 , plus ‘election fees’ for the Returning Officer role that is also undertaken.”

    ALSO Don’t forget how much advertising this unwanted and unpopular position is costing.

    A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.

    #146589

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    In view of the merger agenda on the table who is likely to apply for a job that may only have 4 years left and the whole time will be spent on merger meetings. Wrexham and Flintshire should settle their differences and put themselves forward as an ‘early adopter’. The mergers are coming so for once be leaders rather than have something imposed.

    The Leadership needs to talk with their staff about all of the good things that are already happening across counties and take a leaf out of the operational staff.

    Merge some services NOW —
    Highways – why is it that a road has tarmac laid across county boundaries yet they wear differently so replacement tarmac stops at a county boundary line..

    Schools – merge LEAs — School Governers and Heads are responsible for their own schools — the school improvement service GWE operates across the whole of North Wales.

    Legal is already operating a subsidiary across North Wales

    Fostering is North Wales

    Safeguarding is North Wales

    These are just a few… Cllrs Pritchard and Cllr Shotton get on with the inevitable and stop navel-gazing.

    #146634
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    Whether there are mergers or not, there are parts of our local Government system that could be improved by rationalisation. In Wrexham we have an office of Mayor which costs considerable amounts of money but carries no power. That part of our local Government that is both the ‘Executive’ and ‘Legislative’ arm is rolled up in one body with few checks and balances (bar the occasional election). There is (or was) an officer termed the ‘Chief Executive’ who is the appointee of the elected Council and, in a sense, the Executive function is shared between the appointed and the elected, often to mutual disadvantage. This needs to change.

    Scrap the offices of Mayor and appointed Chief Executive and create a new paid office which is elected by the people every couple of years. Endow that office with certain powers so that they can be used to check and balance the actions of the Council. Let the elected officer be the titular head of the Council and sit in the chambers as normal Council business is conducted. Do not have the equivalent of Mark Pritchard because the new directly elected officer will fulfil that role

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Alunh Alunh.
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