Luton Council’s latest attempt to create a new “Performance Supremo” costing residents £100,000 a year has been blocked by Liberal Democrat councillors.
The move follows much debate about the creation of yet another top level post at the Council to tick Government boxes and write Performance plans.
Attempts to create the post ground to a halt after the plans were looked at twice by a Scrutiny Committee and not a single councillor of any party supported the idea either time. Despite this, a different Committee was asked last night to authorise the post.
Liberal Democrat Councillors Anna Pedersen and Roy Davies used a constitutional procedure to block the plan. If the Council is now to still try to go ahead with creating the post, despite an obvious lack of support for the idea, it will now need to hold a public debate and vote at a meeting of the Full Council, where all councillors can vote.
Councillor Anna Pedersen, who proposed referring the issue, says:
“There is absolutely no need for this costly post. It’s a red herring for poor performance by a Council that should be serving people better. It’s also an attempt to avoid the real issue, which is whether anyone is really held to account for their performance.”
“Under Labour, the Council now has a very well-paid Chief Executive, four Corporate Directors, numerous Heads of Service, and units in every department to oversee budgets and performance. They also have a seven-strong consultant style Luton Excellence team. If that lot can’t deliver, there really is no excuse. And that’s what they’re afraid of.”
Councillor Roy Davies, who seconded the move, adds:
“There’s no way we Liberal Democrats will sign up to another overpaid top manager. I was surprised we were even asked to, as I thought the idea had already been dropped.”
“There will now have to be a very public, once-and-for-all vote of the whole Council if the people who want this post still want to force it through. Given that even backbench Labour councillors refused to back the idea, it will be interesting to see if they try.”