Luton Labour’s attempt to create a new Council ‘Performance Supremo’ costing residents £100,000 a year will now face not just one, but two, hurdles.
We reported last month how Liberal Democrat Councillors used a Constitutional procedure to force a vote at Full Council on the plan. It is likely that the outcome will hinge on the votes of a number of Labour Councillors who did NOT support the idea at Scrutiny, and other backbenchers who have serious reservations.
But it has now also been ruled that the Labour Executive will have to decide again whether to set money aside for the post, after it emerged that Cllr Robin Harris moved a recommendation that was agreed “that no further action be taken on this issue.”
Astonishingly, Labour councillors are maintaining that this decision meant “please set aside £100,000 and create the post.” Liberal Democrats say it should have marked the end of the matter, and that the issue should have been declared dead and buried.
But Legal chiefs settled on a fudged compromise forcing the Labour Executive to take the decision again due to a lack of clarity. This is due to happen on Monday 6th October.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Anna Pedersen comments:
“We felt strongly when we blocked this job from being created that it had already been killed off by the Executive themselves. I cannot see how a decision to take no further action on the issue, as Councillor Harris proposed, can mean: please allocate £100,000 and appoint another top bod. But that’s what Labour claim – that No means Yes.”
“The last thing Luton residents need at this difficult time is yet more money wasted on a cosmetic highly paid job when it’s clear that existing directors, service managers and performance units aren’t properly held to account themselves.”