News is emerging that to accompany her rather grand regal move into the expensive purple carpeted environs of her “strategic leadership” suite on the third floor of the Counts Louse, Bristol City Council Chief Exec Jan Ormondroyd originally had something a little presidential planned.
Talk overheard among her fellow “strategic leaders” – I kid you not – has apparently been of a “first 100 days” strategy in their new suite of offices.
It’s believed that this insanely deluded plan, which could only be hatched by a shower of hopelessly overpromoted local government middle managers, was meant to kick off with Jan’s puff piece by nice but dim local journalist Tom Phillips in the Venue last week and then roll out from there.
Alas the plan immediately ran in to the sand when Jan used the Venue article to make some blatantly political policy statements, which immediately led to her being deservedly slapped down by politicians and told to keep her trap shut.
Since then, rather than the steady flow of positive PR and fabulous achievement that might accompany a skilled presidential “100 days’ strategy”, Jan’s office move has largely been accompanied by a series of embarrassing leaks and blunders (Blogger passim).
Now we learn, just two weeks in to her grand strategy, that panic is breaking out across the third floor because, entirely predictably, a Freedom of Information request has gone to the council asking how much this upmarket suite of offices has cost the council taxpayer.
Also included in the request are the details of the Chief Exec’s salary and the details of her new part time working arrangements (on full salary!).
And suddenly, it seems – perhaps a little late in the day – Jan’s expert political antennae are telling her that details of her expenditure on expensive carpet, furniture, curtains, bullet proof glass as well as on a strategic leadership fridge and coffee machine may not go down that well with the Bristolian public at large.
Most of whom are already outraged with what they’re hearing about MPs expenditure and the greedy self-serving sense of entitlement that seems to accompany public service these days.
Watch this space …
Meanwhile in another fascinating twist, it looks like member of Jan’s strategic leadership team is up for a pay rise … Before they’ve even done anything!
The agenda for tomorrow’s Human Resources Committee meeting at the Counts Louse includes the item: ‘Strategic Director: Resources – resolution of the selection committee re: market supplement’.
In other words recently appointed new finance boss, Will Godfrey, has demanded a pay rise before he’s even started the job! This we’re told is a “market supplement” to Godfrey’s pay to reflect private sector pay. This is odd because Godfrey’s yet another career civil servant. Why should he get private sector rates all of a sudden?
Isn’t it fast becoming the case that the only solid achievement that Ormondroyd can point to in her year in office is to have raised the salaries of senior officers to extraordinary levels for no apparent return?