Maybe I don’t like the guy because I had to deal with a thoroughly un-inspirational and irrelevant speech made by him at my MA graduation ceremony from UCF. However, since taking on the role of Chief Executive for Cornwall Council once it became a unitary authority, I really have not seen the point in the man’s role.
Let’s face it. If Cornwall Council did not have a Chief Executive, then that would be over a saving of something around £280,000 p.a. (that’s Lavery’s normal salary plus what I once heard his PA was getting). With that kind of money, you could do something about the situation of Cornwall’s homeless, which was examined by the Guardian last Friday.
Or, with that kind of money you could employ a few more people in Children’s Services to deal with the fact that Cornwall’s Children’s Services are still “inadequate“. Not management of course, but providing people who can deal with the issues hands on.
Perhaps Cornwall needs to look towards finding ways where it can operate its services without the need for “management” by the likes of the Chief Executive’s Office. It may take up a small part of the council’s budget, but unlike many other areas its role does seem rather pointless.
Though part of the whole problem does stem from the issue of whether public services should be run like businesses. It’s as if you’re treating life like a business. Life is a crap thing to make a business from, because the investment is guaranteed to go down the plug hole when the subject of the investment, i.e. a member of the public, dies. There are no measurable returns on life. People are people, not shares.