Council could scrap chief exec post

By a County Press reporter

Friday, February 1, 2013

 

PLANS for the financial future of the Isle of Wight Council have been revealed today, including proposals to get rid of the post of chief executive and better funding for child protection.

The ruling Conservative group proposals include a plan to scrap the post of chief executive and allocating his duties to a senior officer, allowing the council to save cash.

Current council boss Steve Beynon, who had already announced plans to retire this year, would leave in March under the plan.

There has has been speculation that director of environment and neighbourhoods Stuart Love was likely to succeed Mr Beynon. As part of the plans director of resources David Burbage will take on the head of paid service role until May when a permanent successor will be appointed.

There are also plans to increase funding for child protection, after a damning report found council failings had left children at risk.

As already reported, the plans include a freeze on council tax, for a third year running, as well as introducing a 12 month payment plan.

Council leader Cllr David Pugh said: "The overriding principle for our budget process is to ensure that council’s limited resources are used as effectively as possible to deliver services to our Island community."

He told the County Press this week that he did not believe there would be any cuts in frontline services, despite a £7 million shortfall in government funding.

Proposals announced today include:

• Using grant funding of almost £450,000 to address fuel poverty and help householders reduce their energy bills;

• Pledging to introduce additional schemes to help Island residents onto the housing ladder;

• Establishing a hardship fund of nearly £350,000 to provide residents with emergency financial assistance.

• An additional £60,000 of local funds to support the innovative community bus scheme over the next financial year.

• Allocating £300,000 to continue with the award-winning pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship schemes, including expanding these opportunities into new employment sectors and for residents with learning and physical disabilities;

• Staging another Careers and Jobs Fair, following a successful inaugural event in November 2012.

• An ongoing commitment to deliver Superfast Broadband across the Island, with £3m of Council investment, to establish our community as a major growth area for the digital economy;

• Continuing support for the plans to establish a Solent Ocean Energy Centre, a testing and demonstration facility for tidal power, off St Catherine’s Point.

• Investment in adult social care is increased by £8.7m over the next three years and an additional £475,000 is made available to help improve child safeguarding and improve services for vulnerable children.

Cllr Pugh said: "In what remain difficult financial times, the council must continue to reduce its running costs in order to release as much money as possible for its priorities. This means looking throughout the organisation, from top to bottom, for savings.

"Making the post of chief executive redundant not only yields a significant saving but also demonstrates that we can radically reshape the local authority in light of the continuing changes to local government.

"The leaner we are in terms of our operating expenditure means that more investment can be made available to support the economy and to protect our most vulnerable residents.

"I consider that this proposed budget is both prudent and realistic. It is one that offers real support to the Island’s economy and also to individual families by helping them to meet the cost of living in what are testing times."

The proposals will be discussed by the Isle of Wight Council Cabinet on Tuesday, February 12.

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Displaying the last 10 of 18 comments - Show All Comments

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by neil jacks

4th February 2013, at 09:21:44

cleethorpes.

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by Mike Crowe

3rd February 2013, at 09:08:26

Just heard that they (don't know who 'they' were) tried to sell Cleethorpse pier but it failed to reach the reserve. As this Council tries to sell everything, why don't they put Shanklin Pier up for sale? And Ventnor, Cowes and Seaview Piers as well?

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by Alan Bennett

2nd February 2013, at 22:29:53

The problem is, most of the electorate can't be bothered to vote as they are either disillusioned or just don't care. It would be criminal if these incompetent numpties got back. Who was it said 'All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing'

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by geoffrey clynch

2nd February 2013, at 12:27:16

Sack the whole council especially all the CommonPurpose graduates, time for a clean sweep

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by Richard Taylor

2nd February 2013, at 09:43:44

It seems the more useless and ineffective you are the more money you get. What would happen here if we had someone who knew what they were doing?

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by Kevin Barclay-Jay

1st February 2013, at 23:06:11

\if anyone was unsure there was an election this year, then here is your reminder...hollow promnises, invented figures and trying to cover up Benyons leaving as planned, when he (and Pugh) should be fired for the Cowes debarcla they are responsible for.

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by Valerie Ching

1st February 2013, at 19:51:17

A bit confusing isn't it. If the Chief exec's post is being made redundant as Mr Pugh says, presumably this will follow the usual pattern of retirement with cash payoff. Must be about the seventh chief exec to go this way. Or should it be way to go! If post is redundant why are we looking for a successor/ having an interim caretaker. If it isn't redundant its either a sacking or a retirement. if Only Gilbert and sullivan had lived today - there must be ample material for one of their operettas here!!

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by Harald Behmer

1st February 2013, at 19:37:11

"Making the post of chief executive redundant not only yields a significant saving but also demonstrates ....what exactly ? How much of a so called saving is left over, after the golden handshake reundancy package has been paid to Mr. Benyon for effectively retiring earlyThe balance is probably being paid to Garbage Ltd. It is time for a regime change. The Tory Toff's having their snouts in the trough a bit too deep and this is just a prime example of Tory camaraderie.

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by Colin Russell

1st February 2013, at 18:13:24

All the back stabing for the C/E job and now its going to be booted into touch, would not have been that good a job Mr love only two months.
I see Burbage has kept his mouth shut and his head down and now Mr Ltd Company is going to take the reins, god help us, roll on May so we can send coco and the clowns into the private sector and they can see what we had to poke up with,

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by Gary Ball

1st February 2013, at 15:06:30

David Web, I so so hope you are right as I couldn't bear to see his smug face if he gets in again, he'd think he was doing something right. I'd have to leave the country if that happened.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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