In 2009 the two-tier council system was scrapped in Northumberland following the reorganisation of local government.
The benefits of this would be to remove the duplication of services, management, staffing, and therefore costs that would then benefit the community.
No doubt there were some difficult decisions to be made at the time, but those responsible were to have selected the most experienced and effective personnel to carry out the roles required.
The unsuccessful executives reportedly received a more than comfortable pay-out by most peoples’ standards, with a pension that the average wage-earner could only dream of.
Like many, however, I don’t recall seeing any subsequent reduction in my council tax bill.
Fast forward four years. Many of the new town and parish councils, set up at the time to look after the interests of their locality, have now built themselves up and are ever increasing.
They now duplicate services carried out by the county council, and we pay both councils for the ‘privilege’, even more so with Labour’s imposed precept hikes of this year.
Now we see the county council administration has re-appointed a former executive into a senior role (News Post Leader, April 16), after creating more senior posts only months after cutting the number to meet cost saving initiatives.
After being brought in earlier this year as a consultant to review senior management structure, does it seem strange, or convenient, to anyone that it is found there is a need for two senior positions – one of which is then filled by the consultant brought in?
Although the council insist that these are not senior roles, at a rough guess, if you put this to public opinion or vote and asked if they considered if the two roles - director of planning, and director of education and skills – both with salaries in excess of £100,000, were senior or not, then what do you think they would say?
I would assume the redundancy and handsome pension pay-out given in 2009 at cost to the Northumberland tax-payers will not be repaid as part of this re-employment package?
As the council should be looking to work more effectively, more efficiently, and more economically for the community, I feel confident that many people would much rather see this money spent on essential front line jobs and services instead.
Or are they now saying that the decisions made by those responsible in 2009 in choosing those ‘right’ people for those positions created were the wrong ones, and we have been paying for it since then?
Mr M Swinburn