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Showdown Over Labour’s £100k-A-Year Post

On Monday, Luton’s Labour Executive will be faced with a second call to ditch plans to appoint a new, £100,000 a year Performance Supremo.

However, for a second time, the Performance Scrutiny Committee has told the Executive the post is not needed – and that better management is needed to bring services up to scratch.

In a formal reference, the Committee asks Labour to “receive and consider a report detailing the performance management framework in respect of the responsibilities of Corporate Directors and head of service prior to any consideration of establishing a new post of Head of Strategic Planning, Policy and Performance Management”.

The Committee also slammed the Labour Executive’s failure to send anyone to answer questions, and are demanding that Cllr Robin Harris attend the next meeting.

It is the second time Labour members have allowed concern to be expressed about the new £100,000-a-year post. All FOUR Labour councillors who have considered the plan at Scrutiny have declined to vote for it. A Job Description was due to be agreed this week, but the request was withdrawn following Scrutiny’s decision not to back the post in principle.

Councillor Martin Pantling, Liberal Democrat Finance spokesperson, says:

“When even Labour backbenchers are unconvinced by the need for another £100,000 a year post, their leaders would be mad to go ahead. There will be a showdown. Not one Executive member even attempted to justify the plan or hear people’s concerns.”

“Labour won’t address their failures by creating ever more highly paid consultant- style jobs at residents’expense. What they need to do is try to get some kind of grip themselves, and ensure Directors and Heads of Service are held properly to account.”

“Who needs a Performance supremo to tell them to collect the Council Tax? Yet £5 million went uncollected last year. Or to answer the phone? Yet 7 out of 10 calls have gone unanswered. This is hardly rocket science, yet Labour can’t manage it.”

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