IAN HART: Chief executive cost savings a false economy?

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

Back in the day, Tom Foord was the town clerk. I know because as youngsters we wondered who this mystical figure whose name appeared in parks and gardens around Worthing.

Time moved on and the town council ended up modernising its structure and appointing a chief executive.

With the merging of the Adur and Worthing council services, the need for an effective and competent CEO became even more essential.

The latest incumbent in the position, Alex Bailey, on first impressions looked everything this town needed to progress and develop well into the 21st century.

But the situation has changed in the last few weeks with the news that Mr Bailey will go on an 18-month secondment to the NHS, which sees him working for them two days a week and them picking up 40 per cent of his salary.

How has the council allowed this situation to happen? The post is clearly a full-time, five-day-a-week one.

Personally, as a council tax payer I don’t want a 40 per cent saving if it means productivity also reduces proportionally.

He’s the chief officer of our town and borough and I firmly believe that should be a full-time role.

Clearly this arrangement with the NHS is now a fait accompli, but when it ends we must return to the original contracted hours of a five-day week for the benefit of us all.

From what I’m led to believe from people far more qualified than me, he is very good at what he does.

But it’s a full-time job and cost cutting here, which ever way it comes about, shouldn’t even be considered.