Thursday, 17 September 2009

Top Kent County Council Man to go

News has broken today that Kent County Council Chief Executive Peter Gilroy (pictured) is to stand down. The story on LocalGov states:

"He told staff last night that he will step down next May when his contract expires to pursue other interests. Speculation had been mounting over the summer that then man who has led one of the country’s top-performing councils for six years was reviewing his options."

Let's have a go at translating that - he has not been headhunted for another job (pursue other interests) and quite possibly means that he had been advised that his contract was not going to be renewed or was unlikely to be renewed (speculation has been mounting.......reviewing his options).

Interesting phrase that he was reviewing his options, as if Council Leader Paul Carter and his colleagues did not have the chance to review their option to renew Peter Gilroy's contract. No doubt it will all become clearer in time.

There have been some controversial matters.
In April Peter Gilroy was labelled a "disgrace" after Clive Hart exposed that he pocketed £12,000 on top of his £238,000 (£70,000 more than the Prime Minister receives) annual salary - for not taking all his annual holiday leave. More details here.

I highlighted last week the unnecessary money spent on Kent TV, but I think the responsibility there lies with politicians not officers no matter how committed they were to the project.

The biggest disappointment surely was all the millions of punds of money that recklessly went to Iceland when banks were collapsing (some people seem to forget it was reckless banks that caused our current financial circumstances) and was lost. For details click on my March guest post here from Mike Eddy . Let's recall what the Audit Commission wrote:

‘Kent negligently deposited money after credit ratings for Icelandic banks were downgraded below acceptable levels’

With hindsight, it can be seen that senior officer time that could have been devoted to having better financial systems for millions of pounds, was instead being prioritised to ensure senior officers were able to get paid thousands of pounds for not taking annual leave.

Peter Gilroy has undoubtedly many achievements in the past and especially with regard to social care. It is unfortunate that he leaves after poor decisions have come to light in the last 6 months. I do trust he will take all his holiday so we do not have to pay him any more money before he goes.


  1. is he going to pay back any of the £50,000,000 that went missing on his watch before he leaves?

  2. Or is it anything to do with David Cameron's proposal to cap the pay of top executives in local government if/when the Tories take control at the next election? Get out now or have a pay cut next year?

  3. I trust that KCC will not make the same mistake again and just appoint somebody at such a high salary without advertising the job. They may be supprised to find out that thay can get a good candidate for a lot less but Paul Carter will then need a facesaver to justify Mr Gilroys appointment in the first place.
    At least he will be able to blame Mr Gilroy for the failed £2 million Kent TV waste of money. Mr Gilroy has always claimed that Kent TV is saving £1 million in publicity expenses but so far has not come up with the facts to justify this.

    KCC does not have a good recent record on senior appointments. There is still not a Director of Highways in place a year on, only a acting one. The last one still appears to be on the KCC payroll even though he was the ex MD of failed Rail Company Connex, and what misery they inflicted on Kents commuters.

  4. " I highlighted last week the unnecessary money spent on Kent TV", in this regard your a couple of years late, I have mentioned this consistently since April 2007.

    It looks to me like the Kent TV experiment is not long for the this world, still I think you will find there's a whole raft of Gilroy inspired "services" which are also questionable