Monday, 19 July 2010

Jobs for the boys

Brighton and Hove City Council has just announced who will get four new £125,000 a year director jobs wielding the knife delivering the Government's public spending cuts in the city.

Green councillors refused to take part in the selection process, arguing that the whole business of re-organising the council at a cost of more than half a million pounds a year (it seems even the job ads cost £14,000 - about as much as an experienced teacher earns in half a year) should wait until after next year's local election - and the full extent of cuts has been revealed.

So far we just don't know what the impact on local services will be - at a council meeting last week we learned that this year's budgets would be reduced by about £3.5 million - but we were given no details at all about which services - or, more importantly, people, would be affected.

Can it really be right to spend about a fifth of that sum on new strategic directors - even without considering the rredundancy cost of the curent directors, none of whom will keep their jpbs?

Local people are still picking up the pieces from the reported £500,000 redundancy package given to the last Chief Executive, Alan McCarthy, who trotted off to a new job running local NHS services after falling out with ever-more-out-of-touch Tory council leader Mary Mears.

But whatever the rights and wrongs of recruiting the new directors now, I can't help noticing that all of them are white, and all of them are male.

I thought the whole point was to buck the Status Quo? Nothing personal: I wish the new directors well in their new jobs, but I can't help thinking the appointments show the life at Brighton Council's King's House HQ will be pretty much the same as it always has been...


  1. Except that we did at least have a little diversity in terms of gender and ethnicity at the top of the chain, so in so many ways more than one it's a back to the 80's...

  2. Yes, but as the Greens and the Lib Dems didn't participate in the selection process you can hardly complain, can you?

    I wonder, would protest-by-abstention be so popular with your parties in an election?