Motion: Council have spent £450k of your taxes paying off staff, stop them paying off more…

Kingston Council is supposedly facing a ‘Bankruptcy Battle’, according to the Liberal Democrat administration’s latest borough-wide leaflet. This comes despite news that the Council intends on spending an estimated cumulative £462,000 on paying off senior staff that have clashed with the new Liberal Democrat leader, Liz Green.

In August, the Liberal Democrat administration removed Charlie Adan, the Chief Executive, at a cost of £312,000, and now intend on making the Deputy Chief Executive, Roy Thompson, redundant at a cost estimated by insiders to be around £150,000. On top of this, whilst Mr Thompson was off over the summer on sick leave, they spent £950 per day on an interim consultant.

The Kingston Independent Residents Group say enough is enough. Council funds should be spent on resident services, as paying senior staff off does not give value for money in our council tax.

As such, we demand an urgent review of ex gratia and other payoffs, and condemn the haphazard way in which the council has ignored its own advice in paying off these staff, which leave us with a greater risk of becoming ‘bankrupt’ as an authority.

Please sign our motion, which will be debated at Full Council when 500 signatures are reached, to demand better for your Council Tax.

Motion: Demand Better on Senior Staff Payoffs

  

Community Motion (Standing Order 7A)

Demand Better on Senior Staff Payoffs

This Council notes:

1. the Council, under the Liberal Democrat administration, removed the former Chief Executive Charlie Adan at a cost of £312,000, which could have been spent elsewhere;

2. the Council’s press release, on 29 June 2018, states ‘Roy Thompson will become interim Chief Executive… for up to 12 months… the Deputy Chief Executive position will remain vacant during this time’, which makes clear the post was not occupied by any individual;

3. the Council, owing to illness, brought in an ‘interim interim CEO’, at a cost of £950 per day, despite a commitment to reduce the number of consultants, yet only months earlier employing three highly skilled and senior directors perfectly capable of covering the post; and

4. the Liberal Democrat administration is now attempting to make a redundancy payment to Roy Thompson estimated in excess of £150,00 for his role as Deputy CEO, despite the Council having made it clear this post was vacant.

This Council believes:

1. Council funds should be spent on resident services as paying senior staff pay off does not give value for money;

2. residents deserve clarity and transparency, and it is the duty of the Council to ensure this; and

3. there is a lack of confidence from residents that the payoff for Roy Thompson is justified, since it was later reported by the Leader that the payment was not for redundancy but an ex-gratia payment for long service (12 years).

This Council resolves:

1. to set up a review of ex-gratia and other payoffs, with a focus on legality and the future cost of pensions.

2. to condemn the haphazard and perilous way in which the leadership of the Council has ignored its own advice since May 2018, employing consultants and spending hundreds of thousands paying off staff, furthermore adding to a potential bankruptcy; and

3. to report back to the Finance and Contracts committee with a report on how implementing a new procedure to ensure that any such payments are within the revised Constitution and that a constitutional procedure is introduced, so future payoffs are lawful and transparent.

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