Wednesday, 29 May 2013

CWaC Council in the Rotten Borough section of Private Eye yet again.

UPDATED 30th May 2013: Anger over Cheshire planning committee changes & Labour look to challenge controversial Cheshire West and Chester Council planning committee shake-up. Updates below original post.

Now that #QuackCWaC Council is fast becoming a regular in the Rotten Boroughs section of Private Eye, I suggest that readers take out a subscription.


An earlier appearance in Private Eye

Also an earlier article from the Chester Chronicle

‘Was I sacked over student village vote?’ asks ex-chairman of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s key planning committee.

THE sacked Tory planning chairman at Cheshire West and Chester Council says there is speculation he was ousted because he voted down the controversial student village.

Cllr Myles Hogg (Willaston and Thornton) was chairman of the strategic planning committee until last Thursday when he was replaced by Conservative colleague Cllr Howard Greenwood at the annual council meeting.

Read the full story from the source Chester Chronicle

UPDATE 1 - 30th May 2013: Anger over Cheshire planning committee changes

DISMAYED campaigners are seeking answers after the controversial removal of a planning committee chairman.

Scores of letters have been sent to Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) chief executive Steve Robinson after Cllr Myles Hogg was replaced as chairman of the strategic planning committee.

Read the full story from the source Cheshire First

UPDATE 2 - 30th May 2013: Labour look to challenge controversial Cheshire West and Chester Council planning committee shake-up

LABOUR are looking to challenge the controversial decision to remove Cheshire West and Chester Council’s long-serving strategic planning committee chairman.

Cllr Myles Hogg (Willaston and Thornton) was sacked from his position after 24 years of service two weeks ago, when he was replaced by Tory colleague Cllr Howard Greenwood at the annual council meeting.

Now Labour are planning to gather petition signatures and carry out a campaign against the changes to the planning committee.

Read the full story from the source Chester Chronicle

My comment: Without knowing the 'real' reason for the changes people are left with no alternative but to use the duck test.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

#QuackCWaC Council Rich list (2013)

Another year and another rich list has been published by the Taxpayer's Alliance. For the full 2013 TPA report covering the financial year 2011/12 click here, for my blog post about the year 2010/11 please click here.

Total remuneration 2011/12 with approx percentage increase on 2010/11 remuneration

1) Mr S Robinson Chief Executive £266,000 13.19%
2) Director of Adults Social Care & Health £135,111 (shared post during 2010/11)
3) Director of Community & Environment £138,365 1.6%
4) Director of Regeneration & Culture £139,156 1.89%
5) Director of Resources £152,618  0.82%
6) Head of Facilities & Asset Management £105,143 0.66%
7) Head of Finance £101,064 -1.2%
8) Head of ICT Strategy £105,449 3.08%
9) Head of Legal & Democratic Services £104,925  3.07%
10) Head of Human Resources £102,509 7.1%
11) Head of Planning & Transport £110,520 2.78%
12) Head of Policy, Performance & Partnerships £101,531 -3.4%
13) Head of Procurement £110,458 2.67%
14) Head of Regulatory Services £107,927 3.93%
15) Head of Achievement & Wellbeing £104,798 2.97%
16) Head of Strategic Housing & Spatial Planning £102,124 0.31%
17) Head of Strategy & Commissioning £101,918 1.1%
18) Head of Waste Management & Street Scene £104,091 1.9%

Sub Total £2,193,707 

The two posts below include compensation for loss of office

19) Head of Culture & Recreation £105,636 7.6%
20) Head of Social Care Provision £147,148 (No such post 2010/11)

Please note: A number of job titles have changed and the number of named job titles has been slightly reduced since 2010/11. Although the number of unknown job titles costing over £100K has increased.

Total = £2,446,491

Plus 7 an extra unknown job titles



Sub Total unknown £792,500 

Total cost to taxpayers of just 27 people who work/worked for Cheshire West and Chester Council during the financial years 2011/12

£3,238,891

Footnote: If you find an error in my calculations please let me know.

My comment: I find it unusual that as the council shrinks (number of services and staff reduced, including senior staff) year on year it has cost the taxpayer more to employ the CEO, albeit his basic salary remained unchanged.

2090/10 £218,000  2010/11 £235,000  2011/12 £266,000 That's a 22% increase in just 3 years.

Especially since it costs the taxpayers more for the CWaC CEO than it does for the Birmingham CEO which is a much much bigger council.




Supplementary facts

Cheshire West and Chester are,

6th of  38 councils with at least 15 employees receiving more than £100,000 in 2011-12,



3rd on the list of highest costing Council CEOs 



Monday, 13 May 2013

The #QuackCWaC cock-ups keep on coming

MP's son Sean Ellman cleared in legal high label case.

The shopkeeper son of a Liverpool MP has been cleared of failing to properly label "legal highs" to warn consumers about potential risks.

Trading Standards officials accused him of breaching consumer laws.

But a Chester judge said the case fell down when officers failed to test the substance to prove it posed a risk. [my emphasis]

My comment: Yes, you read it correctly, #QuackCWaC Council officers failed to test the substance which was the subject of the court case. Another 'you couldn't make it up' cock-up by Cheshire and Chester West Council.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Doctor Hermans in Eastgate Row. Photo by @johnmurray1960

Saturday, 4 May 2013

They keep on coming - Yet another #QuackCWaC cock-up

Cock-up one: Cheshire West and Chester Council highway officers give contractors an outdated list.

Cock-up two: Contractor paints yellow zig-zag road markings without even noticing there was no school.

The school in question was closed in 2008 and demolished in 2009 so there has been no need for the work to have been done for the past 5 years.




Local and National press run with the Cheshire West and Chester Council cock-up story, probably because it's one of those 'you couldn't make it up' stories.

Chester First: Road signs in Newton for the school that isn't there.

The Telegraph: Council road painters fail to spot missing school.

The Telegraph Tweet: Council road painters fail to spot missing school.

Daily Mail: Bungling workmen paint zig zag school warning lines on road without noticing that it had been demolished four years ago.

Council cock up even reported by a Danish newspaper.

Nyhederne: UPS! Malede advarsel foran nedrevet skole.

Update

Embarrassed council quickly paint over the yellow zig-zags.


However, reports are coming in that this is not the only example. I wonder where the others are and how much all this cost?