Sunday, 10 August 2014

New Cardiff Chief Executive

City Pays £53,499.63 To Appoint a New Chief Executive

Cardiff has a new Chief Executive – Paul Orders – at a cost of £170,000 a year. The strongest of a weak field he was appointed to the role by a cross party appointment panel in the place of the retiring Chief Executive. Having worked previously at Cardiff City Council he was recruited from the position of Chief Executive of the New Zealand City of Dunedin.

Clearly a man of some experience, but a number of questions need to be asked here. Why was such a huge sum spent in recruiting him? This includes £37,000 on consultants! Also how long with the post last? We are facing a local government reorganisation with the next 5 years with Cardiff likely to be merged with the Vale of Glamorgan council. What sort of severance package was offered?

Perhaps more to the point why do we need a Chief Executive at all? The post grew out of the post of Town Clerk, who was the principle legal advisor to the council. Over the years it has grown to become virtual city manager. Yet we have a full time Council Leader – surely there is duplication here. We have seen authorities like Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire where the Chief Executives seem to be in charge of the authority – dictating to elected councillors rather than serving them.

The time has come for looking at the position, I would argue that with the cabinet system it is a largely redundant post and in danger of usurping the role of the elected council leader.

Maybe when local government reorganisation happens we can take a look at this post and save a little money by scrapping it and returning the power back where it belongs in the hands of the elected councillors?

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