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Pickles: Chief executives should be axed

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Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles believes post of council chief executive should be abolished, it has been reported.

The Independent said Mr Pickles considered that the introduction of the leader and cabinet system at local authorities questioned the need for chief executives.

“I’m not entirely sure that paying a quarter of a million pounds for a chief executive of a large local authority is justified,” he said.

“To a degree, they are being paid like football managers. In a time when members have executive responsibilities, I’m not entirely sure that can be justified.”

The paper reported Tory insiders as accepting that the removal of incumbent chief executives may be impossible for contractual reasons. But it said the party was considering the possibility of merging the roles of chief executive and leader.

The Independent continued to quote former shadow communities secretary Mr Pickles as saying while he was not against high salaries, he believed chief executives should be paid in proportion to their responsibilities.

“A lot of council chief executives do not have that level of responsibility,” he said.

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • So, just how much executive (as opposed to political) training and experience has the average Council Leader or Cabinet member had? Politicians invariably make very bad managers (and vice versa). Horses for courses Mr Pickles!

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  • How very true. And that from a man who knows a lot about horses as well as about being a chief executive! (Assuming it's ther Robert Hughes I think it is). In fact, but for Mr. Pickles' comment, I would have thought it didn't need to be said at all, but perhaps I've just been lucky in never having to had to work with a leader who didn't understand just what a CX does, didn't think he or she could it as well or better and didn't understand and that the role of a good independent CX actually enhances the political role.

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