A Liberal Democrat Councillor has launched a stinging attack on Luton’s Labour Leader for her “arrogance” in agreeing to create a top new senior-salaried position, and appointing to it, without any form of wider approval from Councillors.
A new post of “Assistant Chief Executive” – who it is believed will effectively act as second in command – was announced to senior staff and Councillors on Friday by current Interim Chief Executive Mike Robinson – along with the name of the appointee.
The action is unusual because a decision was taken to both create an entirely new post, and appoint to it on an interim basis for a year, with none of the usual procedures being followed.
Normally, staff at Director level and above would be appointed to be a cross-Party committee of councillors. In this case, not only was there no Panel, but no consultation whatsoever took place about either creating the new post, or appointing to it.
Barnfield Liberal Democrat Councillor Martin Pantling comments:
“People are sick and tired of the Labour Council creating new, highly paid consultant-style posts with massive salaries, that residents have to pay for out of their Council tax.”
“In the last 2 years, we’ve seen half a dozen ‘Excellence’ posts brought in who have not even saved taxpayers the cost of their salaries, and a Performance supremo earning over £100,000 a year who couldn’t stop Luton being rated a mediocre two-star Council.”
“Not content with this, Councillor Simmons has created a further senior post, and agreed its appointment with no apparent process and no consultation. How much more is this going to cost residents? I can only think that following her self-awarded 83 percent pay rise, she thinks she’s become some kind of President. If so, she’ll get a serious shock when she has to face the electorate – and the music.”