Fringe Box



Opposition Councillors Puzzled by Public Delivery of CEO’s Objectives

Published on: 5 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 8 Mar, 2013

Opposition councillors have been left perplexed by the unprecedented reading out of the Chief Executive’s objectives by the Council Leader at the recent full Guildford Borough Council (GBC) meeting.

Cllr David Goodwin, Leader of the LibDem Group

Cllr David Goodwin, Leader of the LibDem Group

David Goodwin, leader of the Lib Dem Group at GBC said: “I am glad that Cllr Mansbridge [Council Leader] made it clear that the Chief Executive worked under the direction of the council leader and other councillors. This is essential if decisions are to be truly democratic.

“But I am a little puzzled as to the purpose of reading out the CEO’s seven objectives publicly. However, it is good that the CEO’s performance will be properly judged against a range of objectives.

“Managing change is difficult but we Liberal Democrat councillors want to ensure that the fair treatment of hard working council officers is not lost sight of within the change process. After all, livelihoods are at stake sometimes.”

Cllr Stephen Mansbridge

Council Leader Stephen Mansbridge

Cllr Mansbridge said at the council meeting: “Tony Rooth, the previous council leader, and I undertook to significantly improve the appraisal process for the chief executive on behalf of our council.” The Council Leader explained that the pubIic announcement of the CEO’s objectives was part of the new process that had been developed over recent months and was now in place.

Cllr Mansbridge continued: “The role of the CEO and head of paid service is a complex one, particularly in an organisation which is undergoing significant and comprehensive change. The current chief executive was charged with bringing about transformation of this council in 2007.

David Hill, Chief Executive at GBC

David Hill, Chief Executive at GBC

“Since then he has implemented change and delivered significant projects, some he highlights being:

  • the housing revenue  account reform;
  • the leisure management outsourcing (saving £747,000);
  • customer service excellence for the whole council, reaffirmed at the end of last year;
  • IiP accreditation, which originally the council stood to fail.
  • a service transformation programme. Which has delivered about £7.5m of savings and efficiencies and reduced employee numbers by 25% with continuing service improvements.”

The CEO’s seven objectives were given as:

  1. To manage the organisation, its partners, and contractors to deliver the annual service plan within budget and to maintain and improve customer satisfaction;
  2. Lead development of a new corporate plan to be a key tool in further development of a performance culture and review the transformation programme;
  3. Review the governance and management structures at political and officer level within the council to improve mutual expectation and understanding by all participants;
  4. Develop and present a framework and a time-line to secure the regeneration of North Street which, in turn, will secure Guildford town centre’s economic vitality and its commercial offer;
  5. To develop a project plan for the delivery of a robust new local plan which will prove the basis for a continued sustainable development and for securing appropriate infrastructure;
  6. To work with partners and other statutory and non-statutory agencies to secure the necessary infrastructure, address obstacles and support population and economic growth as set out in the adopted local plan;
  7. To develop and lead on a strategy for business and economic growth.

The CEOs next appraisal will take place in late May/June this year.

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Responses to Opposition Councillors Puzzled by Public Delivery of CEO’s Objectives

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    March 6, 2013 at 10:41 am

    It is interesting to read from your online newspaper the CEO’s objectives, as stated by the Leader of The Council.

    It is refreshing to see such positive planning which will no doubt lead to relieving the financial burden on Council Tax Payer.

    One wonders what other savings could be made? Here are two ideas:

    Reduce the number of councillors

    There are currently 48 councillors covering the Guildford area at Guildford Borough Council and a further number of County Councillors. Some serve on both Councils.

    Would one councillor representing each borough ward serve just as well?


    The power of The Mayor of Guildford has diminished over the years and we now have a vibrant Council Leader supported by his CEO.

    Has this honourable office of Mayor now become redundant?

    Frankly, I do not know the answers to these questions.

    Perhaps others of your growing readership might be inclined to express their opinions?

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