Magazine article Public Finance

Solace Slams Slurs on Chief Executives

Magazine article Public Finance

Solace Slams Slurs on Chief Executives

Article excerpt

The body representing council chief executives has warned that continued attacks on public servants are legitimising unfair dismissals and causing top-level vacancies to remain unfilled.

The claim was made to an Audit Commission inquiry on local authority severance deals ordered by Communities Secretary John Denham.

David Clark, director general of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers, told the regulator: 'The nature of recent public attacks on chief executives is no doubt one reason why some posts are becoming difficult to fill.

'We have only anecdotal evidence of this currently, but I fear a trend may soon become measurable.'

He added: 'Government ministers and political parties should be careful not to talk down public servants. By doing so, they legitimise the kind of attack that may often lead to unnecessary severances locally.' Clark said that the problem of 'boomerang bosses' - chiefs paid huge payouts before walking into a new job - had been exaggerated. …

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