Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You Couldn't Make it Up: No 94

Being rewarded for failure in the public sector is nothing new, but it has reached new heights of farce in local government, where it's always possible to come up smelling of roses.

I grew up near Saffron Walden, where the District Council rejoices in the name of Uttlesford. The chief executive finance director of the council, Phil O'Dell, was forced to resign recently, when it was disovered he had presided over a massive deficit of £1.8 million, leading to 21 staff redundancies.

A matter of two months later, Mr O'Dell has got himslef a new job as a local government consultant ... advising various local authorities ... wait for it ... cue drumroll ... on their financial affairs! And even better; according to The Sun, one of the councils he will be advising is none other then ... you got there ahead of me ... Uttlesford! Hurrah for Mr O'Dell!

UPDATE: A local journalist has got a quote from Uttlesford. "Mr O'Dell will not be working, directly or indirectly, to offer advice directly or indirectly to Uttlesford District Council now or at any point in the future". He also says the current chief executive is also leaving at the end of this month.



Next they'll be abolishing language oral exams. Er...

15 comments:

judith said...

But my dear Iain, the two Health Trust executives (Maidstone and BHR) who precipitately left their positions, one over MRSA and t'other over excruciating financial losses, have set up a Health Consultancy.

They have the nerve to advertise themselves as experts in hospital management, and no doubt, some Trust somewhere will be employing them soon.

I am convinced I am living in parallel universe.

Newmania said...

There are record bonuses for civil servants at HMRC reported in the DT today.
God knows what we would have to give them if they ever got anyhting right ...a spare kidney?

Anonymous said...

It's worse than you think - there are some people who've never been elected to any office or held any position in local or national government who still make comfortable livings pontificating about politics...

Newmania said...

....and the inability of serial cock up merchants to stay in their grave is always staggering.
After what Margaret Hodge did to the tax payers and in particular , the children , of Islington you might except her to spend her remaining days in Azkaban sewing mail sacks . Oh no she is the minister for Modern Buildings and Culture a terrifying though in itself but this rather nice quote is in High Muirs diary
“Decisions on listing modern architecture should be left to people who can be booted out if they get it wrong “....
From someone who got it so catastrophically wrong she handed children in care to drug pushers and paedophiles this is the sort of thing that once upon a time I would have underlined and written “IRONY”

BTW


Castro has retired !
Gordon`s real first name is James ...did you know that ? ‘PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW BANK’ ....OOOoooooOOOW Get back HA

ezra said...

Of course directors of private companies who oversee job losses and decreases in sales and profits are never given huge salaries/bonuses/shares. Oh wait..

Vol Abroad said...

Oh surely, surely, surely in the code of conduct of the good Uttlesford council there's something about not hiring people back as consultants within a certain period of time.

Blecchhhh.

strapworld said...

anonymous 9.22 Define 'Politics'

There is politics being played in everyday life. In workplace situations.Even within married lives! Politics does not start and end in Westminster or the local Council Chamber.

Grow up you small minded person hiding behind 'anonymous' tag!

strapworld said...

In my short lived time as a District and Town Councillor. My District Council, which before my election had been declared 'poor', had the great assistance from the Local Government Association. The ex councillor they gave us to teach us how to run things better had been thrown out of his council!!

Jobs for the boys and the girls.

In the NHS the Ch Exec's club ensures that any dismissal means a sideways move to another Trust!!!

Anonymous said...

Jockstrapworld said...
"anonymous 9.22 Define 'Politics'

There is politics being played in everyday life. In workplace situations.Even within married lives! Politics does not start and end in Westminster or the local Council Chamber."

Grow up. When people talk about 'politics' (without qualification) they mean party politics. Otherwise, they otherwise they ad an adjective, e.g. 'office politics'.

Cicero said...

Iain, I think this story may be wrong. O'Dell was not the chief executive for starters, so I would do more checking than the Sun may have done...

Chris Goodman said...

"It's worse than you think - there are some people who've never been elected to any office or held any position in local or national government who still make comfortable livings pontificating about politics"

Iain Dale has earned a living setting up successful businesses, and working freelance in the highly competitive world of journalism.

You "Anonymous" 9:22 on the other hand are supported by Iain Dale (and others like him) via his taxes.

If I was being impolite I would call you a parasite. Let us just agree upon the description; bitter and talentless.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Chris Goodman - you're a bit sharp. I would have thought Iain is capable of defending himself, are you a relative?
Anyway, wasn't the council in question Tory controlled?

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain -

I write for one of the papers in Saffron Walden and just stumbled across your blog by clicking on an "Uttlesford" Google Alert.
Phil O'Dell was the director of resources - not chief executive - at Uttlesford District Council until he left (was probably pushed) in October last year. He landed his job with company Public Sector Consultants four months, not two months, later, although that is perhaps irrelevant.
And in response to The Sun's comments (which I haven't personally read) that one of the councils Mr O'Dell would be advising would be Uttlesford: a district council spokesman has explicitly said that "Mr O'Dell will not be working, directly or indirectly, to offer advice directly or indirectly to Uttlesford District Council now or at any point in the future".
By the way, Alasdair Bovaird is the chief executive, but he too is leaving the council at the end of February. Whether he is leaving due to pressure or on his own acccord I do not know. You might say I should, but the council is doing a good job of keeping under wraps information they don't want to be released.

Hope this provides some sort of clarity.

It's me again said...

I wonder what makes the charming (and possibly made up) Chris Goodman imagine that I'm "supported by Iain Dale (and others like him) via his taxes"? He knows neither who I am nor my (thankfully amazingly robust) financial position. Just cos people pay high rate tax on their hard earned pensions it don't mean they're not permitted to be lefties you know...

Chris Goodman said...

"it's me again"

No denial that your employment was courtesy of the tax payer I notice.