20.6.15……Now that the brand spanking new minority Labour Administration have sacked the CEO they jointly procured with the Tories and Greens back in 2012, and the press continues to report the widespread rage that she is being paid £269,000 to go, others ‘knowingly’ speculate about the timing and likely candidates to replace Penny Thompson.
The Recent Past
After David Panter emigrated, the Deputy CEO became CEO. When they assumed power in 2007, the Tories paid Alan McCarthy (Frank Gehry/Karis King Alfred disaster) £750,000 to leave. And in came John Barradell with a total restructuring plan. The Tory successors in 2011, the Greens, introduced the living wage for lowest paid council workers and were just one of three unanimous political party votes choosing to hire Penny Thompson after John Barradell walked away from this unchangeable and ungovernable council. Now Labour have dumped Penny Thompson.
If Labour have done this joltingly swiftly since becoming the Administration just a month ago, amid claims in another article that a new CEO will be sought through an ad in the Guardian (and maybe just one or two other places), it has to be because they already have their candidate in the wings waiting to “apply”. So who could apply that the Greens and Tories would accept – and they DO have to agree!
Assuming Lord Bassam does not have the chutzpah to think he could do the job (he was stopped from becoming a first BHCC directly elected Mayor with all the power that would have brought), there are 3 contenders much talked about.
Will one of these three become the new BHCC CEO?
Jenny Rowlands (Former Director of Environment and, with Alan McCarthy, partly responsible for that egregious Karis/Gehry King Alfred nightmare) has been watched for awhile now. When Barradell came, full of shakeup intentions, she did not hang around to be made redundant. Currently biding her time as CEO at Lewes, she has been talked about for a long time now as someone champing at the bit to have the Brighton & Hove CEO job. Didn’t this Labour stalwart apply for it last time?
Former Monitoring Officer (BHCC Legal Dept) and another Labour stalwart, Alex Bailey, is now CEO of Adur-Worthing. He is a contender because of the wider Brighton & Hove arrangement now in place that links the authorities from Worthing to Brighton & Hove and up to Lewes. This as yet not formally named group meets at the AMEX (where public access to meetings has to be minimal I would think). There has been talk of joint procurement of services so each authority does not do it out of individual budgets, but rather collectively. Could he be a joint procurement himself? To CEO both Worthing and Brighton & Hove?
And then there is Martin Perry. But the public were not impressed enough to elect him for Labour in Hangleton, so…..faits vos jeus!