Wirral Council: Graham Burgess is given a permanent contract – after a curious change of heart

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Mr Burgess is paid at the top of the Chief Executive salary range of £121,807 – £135, 341 per annum.

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50009256/Chief%20Executive%20fv2.pdf

….so goes the blurb from Chris Hyams, Head of HR, who is subservient to the man at the top.  Er… not sure an underling can recommend anything else, assuming they want to ‘get on in life’?  From whom does Ms Hyams take her orders?

I noticed that there is a link to an Equality Impact Assessment in the above .pdf file.  But the link doesn’t do what it says on the tin.  Although it mentions ‘the EIA attached to this report’, all it does is take concerned members of the public to generic information about EIAs.

So what’s going on?  Where is the actual EIA backing up the decision to make Mr Burgess permanent?

This morning I rang somebody at the Council in the appropriate department, who acknowledged it didn’t look right and she would look into it, and put it right.

She also said it wasn’t possible to ‘unpublish’ documents once they are up there.  I said, “I don’t want it unpublishing – I think it needs correcting and the correct link putting up there.  At the moment it’s misleading…”

She will get back to me…  sorry, no she won’t.  The Wirral Council brand of public service only extends to doing what’s been asked (maybe) then leaving it at that.

The concern behind all this is, “Why does permanently cementing in place a senior public servant have equalities implications?” – which was a point that couldn’t be addressed by the council person I spoke to.

It’s very similar to this situation, where the council attempted to treat 66 councillors as some sort of ‘protected group’ – but later had to remove the EIA from the website – although the offending piece of paperwork still strangely survives here.  Why?

I think we need to be on our toes once again.  More to follow soon….

UPDATE   29th January 2013

Graham “Mistakes” Burgess was voted in permanently.  So it appears the idea that he would be considered for a permanent position after 2 years depending on how he’d performed, has been unceremoniously ditched.  Story here:

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2013/01/29/wirral-council-gives-permanent-contract-to-acting-chief-executive-100252-32700246/

UPDATE   10th February 2013

She didn’t get back to me… AND Nothing’s been done.  The EIA doesn’t exist or if it does, it’s being kept out of sight.  I’m assuming this because I’ve specifically asked, and the request’s been directly ignored.  I’ll now either have to make a request by phone or make a Freedom of Information request to get at it.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/copy_of_eia_document_related_to/new

So much for the brave new world that Director of Adult Social Services Graham Hodkinson told me about, where Wirral will be anticipating and gauging workload, pre-empting FoI requests, heading them off and putting up the information FIRST.  Once again….. it looks like they’ve failed.

UPDATE   26th February 2013

Instead of placing the information up on the website for all to see, in the way Graham Hodkinson described to me, the Council have ensured I had to place the following FoI request in order to gain access to some of the workings behind the cementing in place of Graham “Mistakes” Burgess:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/copy_of_eia_document_related_to

And here’s the item I was after, which came in today:

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50009287/Chief%20Executive%20Employment%20Contract%20EIA.pdf

It’s not ideal is it?  OK, there was no consultation whatsoever, but the council’s paymasters having to wait until many weeks after the event to see what was being proposed…. it just smells a little.

About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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