Jobs for the Boys (and Girls) policy at @Southkesteven.

Press Release – 26th July 2018

A recent Freedom of Information request by Independent SKDC Councillor Ashley Baxter has revealed that at least ten jobs have been recruited without the ‘normal’ competitive process of advertising and shortlisting for the roles.

In several cases the new recruits are former colleagues of senior Conservative Councillors at SKDC. Some of the direct recruitments have been for very senior roles.

Cllr Ashley Baxter comments: “This is a disgrace and a scandal. Nepotism and cronyism on this scale was supposed to have been eradicated with the Northcote Trevelyan Report of 1854 and is contrary to every rule of common sense in local government.”  Cllr Baxter is keen to point out that his opposition to the recruitments is not related to the nominated individuals, most of who he has never met, but to the principles of transparency, due process, fairness and equality.

Cllr Baxter has made a formal complaint to the council about the number of appointments. He believes that most, if not all, of the appointments might be illegal and in contravention of the Equalities Act 2010 and the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

Excerpt from Local Govt and Housing Act 1989

The full list of directly recruited posts is as follows:

Strategic Director – Growth Employment Committee Decision – has been working for SKDC as an employee. No advert or alternative applicants interviewed
Strategic Director – Resource Employment Committee Decision – has been working for SKDC as a shared resource. No advert or alternative applicants interviewed
Assistant Director – Growth Employment Committee Decision – has been working for SKDC via a service contract. No advert or alternative applicants interviewed
Head of Arts Fixed term contract – Direct Appointment following interview. No advert or alternative applicants interviewed
Bus Stakeholder & Event Exec Fixed term contract Direct Appointment following interview. No advert or alternative applicants interviewed
Head of Town Centres Fixed term contract Direct Appointment following interview. No advert or alternative applicants interviewed
Communications Officer Through the staff req process Contractor moved to permanent employee status. No advert or alternative applicants interviewed
Neighbourhoods Officer Previous Employee, covering a fixed term vacancy, created by a secondment. No advert or alternative applicants interviewed
Financial Accountant Previous Employee, recruited as a casual for year end. No advert or alternative applicants interviewed
Revenues Manager Interim role, merged with currently seconded benefits manager role. In post until Head of Customer Experience recruited to.

The similar direct recruitment of the Head of Visitor Economy is not included in the list above because the FoI only relates to posts recruited since January 2018. There may be still more.  The FoI also doesn’t cover the procurement of ‘Consultants’ such as the current Head of Communications who is paid over £10,000/month. It also doesn’t include posts recruited via Opportunity Peterborough who receive over £200,000 a year for consultancy nor the Council’s wholly-owned company ‘InvestSK’ which is about to appoint a Chief Executive if it hasn’t already (I suspect the decision was made in mid-June but has yet to be announced).

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