- Posted by: Canterbury Labour
- Category: Latest News
With the imminent retirement of Colin Carmichael, Chief Executive of Canterbury City Council, the Canterbury Labour Group has prepared the following cross party letter calling for a replacement to be advertised. The City Council is currently consulting on a budget which deletes the post of Chief Executive in order to save money.
The letter reads as follows:
To run an organisation of over 400 staff with budgets of over £200 million is difficult. To do so when recovering from a pandemic, with massive debts, an income shortfall of at least £4 million, the departure of several senior managers, and with multiple high profile, high-cost projects underway, is a superhuman challenge.
To do this without a Chief Executive as well is something no sensible business would contemplate. Yet that is exactly what Conservative leader Ben Fitter-Harding is proposing.
Worse, he is doing so without bothering to assess or understand the risks involved, without proper planning or consultation, and with no idea about what to do if the reckless experiment fails. A local council is a public body spending public money. It must be publicly accountable and responsible. It should not be the subject of the political whim of one person. The Chief Executive role allows for a professional and informed input to a large number of local government decisions, as well as providing a longer-term perspective, which is essential for effective decision-making.
Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party Councillors jointly oppose this unnecessary and reckless course of action. We believe it exposes the Council to avoidable risks, especially regarding staff and finances, and that it has a high probability of failure. With no meaningful debate or analysis on the balance of benefits and risks, it is quite clearly nothing more than another grab for power from a Conservative Party which cannot justify its actions.
Dave Wilson, Labour Group Leader
Michael Dixey, Liberal Democrat Group Leader
Clare Turnbull, Green Party Councillor