Wiltshire Council finds the old ways are the best

TWO heads are better than one, they say.

But not if those two heads are at County Hall in Trowbridge.

Talk about reinventing the wheel!

Wiltshire Council starts life as a unitary authority with one chief executive.

All of a sudden in 2011 its political leader gets rid, not just of the astonished incumbent Andrew Kerr, but of the chief exec role. 

Call Me Jane says there’s no need for one any longer because “the buck stops” with her.

A new system is instituted under her overall control. Three big cheeses, each with their own area of responsibility.

At the start of this year, now a Baroness, Jane Scott becomes a Whip in the Lords and under her successor, Philip Whitehead, the three are reduced to two, Terence Herbert and Alistair Cunningham.

Now we’re back to a single chief again, because that, apparently, is the system that works best after all. Cllr Whitehead said so. Keep up at the back there!

Apparently if the joint head honchos (budgeted cost £0.45million) didn’t agree about something, no-one was quite sure whose opinion should prevail. What everyone could agree on was that one of them had to be top dog after all.

And Mr Cunningham, who was awarded an OBE for his work on Salisbury’s recovery from the Novichok disaster, volunteered for redundancy.

It’s reassuring to know that his expertise and experience will not be entirely lost to the authority.

Having chaired the boards of the Stone Circle companies, which were set up by the council to buy and build housing cost-effectively, he is now being nominated by the councillors as an independent director to “maintain continuity and momentum”.Turned out well, then, hasn’t it?

Article originally posted on Annie Riddles blog – http://annieriddle.blogspot.com/

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