LETTER: Holding county leader to account

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Referring to the ‘sour grapes’ letter on page 32 of last week’s WSCT, regarding the WSCC leader’s decision to dispense with the chief executive.

This is the second CE that has been despatched by the current leader since she came to power, with payoffs running into many £100,000s and in the circumstances few would expect opposition members to be silent.

Since the taxpayer can ill afford such costs, consideration must surely be given to senior appointments based on a three to five year contract, to minimise the need for further payoffs.

The leader seems to have deduced that a better payback would be obtained by paying CEs off, rather than by attempting to improve performance and it is not surprising that her judgement is in question.

She should be able to describe how the CEs were periodically assessed, against pre-set performance objectives and to present a business case to justify her actions, particularly as she appointed the last CE herself.

Now she seems to have compounded the problem by introducing a schizophrenic management structure, with an interim chief operating officer and a separate transformation director, where the buck apparently stops nowhere, as it would have done with a CE.

No doubt Opposition members will continue to do their job, by holding the leader to account on behalf of the electorate.

They should certainly not be put off by rattled members of the ruling party, whose share of the vote fell by around 40 per cent between the 2009 and 2013 county council elections, whilst that of UKIP rose by over 170 per cent.

It is not the Opposition that they have to worry about, but the growing numbers of people who do not want to vote for them.

ROGER ARTHUR

(UKIP) Horsham district councillor for Chanctonbury ward and UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate for Horsham, North Street, Horsham