25th Oct, 2016

Wychavon back Jack for new role

Evesham Editorial 17th Oct, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

COUNCIL chiefs at Wychavon District Council have backed the appointment of current managing director Jack Hegarty as the joint chief executive for them and Malvern Hills District Council.

Councillors backed recommendations from a joint shared appointments committee between the two councils which called on Mr Hegarty to be appointed to the £118,000-a-year post.

Savings from the move to a shared chief executive post are said to be around £60,000 per year for each council, totalling £300,000 for each council over a five-year period

Mr Hegarty’s salary is performance related and could rise to a maximum of £127,500 a year.

However, it has now been revealed Malvern’s current chief, Chris Bocock, did not interview for the role.

And the decision wasn’t backed by Liberal Democrat members Coun Liz Tucker and Coun Charles Tucker.

Proposing the matter be delayed until after the elections in May for both authorities, Coun Mrs Tucker questioned whether Malvern Hills was the right partner for the authority.

“We know Malvern Hills council only voted this proposal through on the casting vote of the chairman, that a strong opposition argument continues.” she said.

“The betting is on that next May the Conservatives will lose and the next administration will be the group of Independent, Greens and UKIP who have already vowed to overturn the arrangement.

“We also know Malvern Hills has a very different culture to own with rowdy meetings and raucous behavior and still operates the old committee system.

“A high level of trust is fundamental to the success of any shared arrangement.

“Why are we racing ahead now in the dying few months of this council rather than taking the proposal to our residents in the

May elections?.” she added.

She proposed any agreement should be delayed until after the May district council elections for both authorities and was backed by her husband Coun Charles Tucker.

“How do we know whether the public support this? We haven’t asked them.” he said.

In response, council leader Coun Paul Middlebrough said: “I think it would be foolish to delay the agreement.

“Sometimes we have to particularly strong in terms of the democratic process and get on with things.

“We have nearly halved management team since I took over and what has happened? Performance has improved!

“Asking the public would be bizzare, they would say ‘get on and do it!’.” he added.

Coun Tucker’s amendment was defeated by 32 votes to 2 with two abstentions while the proposed appointment of Mr Hegarty was approved by 32 votes to one with three abstentions.

Malvern councillors also approved the appointment on Thursday night (October 16) and Mr Hegarty will assume his new role no later than December 1.

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