Council pays temporary officer £1154 a day to avoid risk of "serious reputational damage"


Cheshire East is paying a temporary senior officer £1154 a day in order to avoid the risk of "serious reputational damage to the Council".

The Council says that they had an immediate requirement to appoint a Director of Governance and Compliance, which incorporates the Statutory Monitoring Officer role.

Due to the urgency, the Acting Chief Executive Kath O'Dwyer took the decision in consultation with Cabinet members, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Staffing Committee, the Mayor and the Council's Political Group Leaders.

A report prepared for a meeting of the Council's Staffing Committee to be held on April 25th confirms that the appointee is being paid a daily rate is £995 plus a 16% management fee to the agency. Which means the cost to taxpayers is £1154 per day - £5770 a week.

A new Corporate Services structure came into effect on 1st April 2019 at Cheshire East Council and included a new post of Director of Governance and Compliance. The range of responsibilities of this post differs from that of the previous Director of Legal Services role.

There has been an acting up arrangement in place, with Daniel Dickinson taking on the post of Director of Legal Services since April 2017 due to the absence and subsequent resignation of the previous post-holder. This acting up arrangement ended on 31st March 2019.

In her report for the Staffing Committee, Sara Duncalf, Acting HR Business Partner, wrote "The Director of Governance and Compliance is also the Monitoring Officer and therefore the appointment would normally be made by Council.

"As the next Council meeting does not take place until 22 May, there would have been an unacceptable risk to the Council in being without a Monitoring Officer for the period between 1 April and 22 May 2019. There could also have been serious reputational damage to the Council."

She added "The daily rate for the post is more than that for a permanent appointment. However, it is short-term and the cost will be offset against the salary already budgeted for the post until an appointment is made, and managed within the approved budget for Governance and Compliance."

Cheshire East Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 5:48 pm
8 Police investigations, Council tax rises year on year for no benefit, Not balancing the books, Lyme Green fiasco , Co Socious fiasco, Air pollution data manipulation fiasco, Flawed local plan, Paying spin doctors, Bullying, Closed 'opaque' government..selective deafness.. ignoring residents ...etc etc ........ THEY DONT HAVE A REPUTATION TO DAMAGE AT CEC .. THEY DESTROYED ALL BY THEMSELVES !!..... and now this additional expensive fiasco.. disgraceful !

Rid ourselves of this incompetent, expensive CEC Catalogue of Expanding Catastrophes at the ballot box in 15 days time vote for representatives who listen and respond to residents and not the flawed cabinet controlled party system we have suffered... Residents cant afford this expensive failure at CEC to continue.. vote independent !
Manuel Golding
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 6:34 pm
Is Sara Duncalf 'avin a laff when she states "There could also have been serious reputational damage to the Council."?
Somebody needs to inform the lady that CE Council has already acquired extremely "serious reputational damage" by its malevolent antics over the past years.
Where do we start? Ah yes, Lyme Green charade for starters,then is it 7 or 8 police investigations?, some are still continuing, numerous executives on long term gardening duties (CE must have the best garden displays in the North West), CoSocius (as), Tatton Park "fun fair" and it goes on and on. Please check for the updated version with Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs blog, and then the Wilmslow car parking fiasco and on and on.
And this is before we cast our eyes over the Conservative's glorious, wonderful electioneering leaflets - some talk of their "vision", reasons to give 'em a vote because they will be carrying on the good work. A vote to "carry on" as before because they collectively did such a destructive job on Wilmslow & the borough over the past 8 years. I think not.
So much Sara Duncalf for CECs reputational damage - the damage it has inflicted on Wilmslow and the wider area. Would you vote for more of the same?
Jonathan Follows
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 7:12 pm
OK, I'll fall for making the obvious comment that it's hard to see how the "reputational damage" caused by the Conservatives running Cheshire East Council could have been made any worse than it already is.

I'm trying to work out what's being said here, but it seems to me that the fact that there wouldn't be a Statutory Monitoring Officer in post on 1 April was something known well before 1 April, and that it should have been possible to have made the necessary appointment in time. So did someone "only just notice" that this hadn't in fact been done, and therefore had to make the emergency appointment to cover the omission? So who then failed to notice the problem in advance?
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 7:44 pm
Drain the swamp.
Gerald Norden
Friday 19th April 2019 at 6:45 pm
Who made the appointment and how was the rate for the job calculated.... suggest some should be catapulted (fired) into the real world of work.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 20th April 2019 at 12:10 am
Any comment from our current "representatives" ?
Buster Wild
Saturday 20th April 2019 at 10:49 am
Another investigation ? We all know who's not getting our X in May.
Barbara Hughson
Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at 7:42 pm
Would love to vote independent, but the choice is between the two obvious ones. I can't bear to vote for either, nor do want to avoid voting. I can feel a spoilt paper coming!
Chris Hollingworth
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 7:35 pm
I agree with all the above. This is absolutely shocking. My partner and I will certainly be voting to get these unprofessional muppets out. I dislike most of what Trump stands for but I agree with Peter’s comment. “Drain the swamp”!
Barry Buxton
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 7:55 pm
I'm with Barbara H. The Tories have lost all credibility both nationally and locally. Ironically, RoW has the slogan Vote for Change but they're VERY selective about what they do and do not want to change.
Raymond Walker
Thursday 25th April 2019 at 10:08 am
This story highlights the pretentious structure of posts of bureaucratic management accepted as the norm today. There are too many management posts and they often delegate or buy in expertise. Has anybody ever shadowed a senior person to see what they really do in a week? Meetings and no hands on activity. They are never selected from those who have worked hard in the Council who can readily step up to fill the void. To appoint a temp. from outside is unhealthy and should not require use of an agency. If unfilled this Governance job would probably go unnoticed.
Councils have picked up such titles from their invention by NHS, Police and Network Rail, who are flawed by the same structure. A reduction of 40% of senior management would probably not affect the daily running of the Council. It is high time the country insist on the restructure of company and organisation management and condemn the existence of remuneration committees or non-executive directors, I feel.