A ‘beacon’ to other coun­cils

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

Coun­cil leader Gerry Clark­son also de­fended the ap­proach, and said the author­ity had acted as a “beacon” for how things should be done, while keep­ing coun­cil tax as the low­est in the county.

He said the author­ity cur­rently em­ployed around 400 staff who were paid a liv­ing wage or an ap­pren­tice wage, while re­dun­dan­cies had been kept to a min­i­mum by seek­ing voluntary agree­ments with those ap­proach­ing the ends of their ca­reers.

Cllr Clark­son said: “We are try­ing to be the epit­ome of what a pro­gres­sive coun­cil should be. We have ap­pointed the chief ex­ec­u­tive in­ter­nally, but we have sev­eral other se­nior posts which are be­ing ad­ver­tised na­tion­wide.

“For the last post, we had 32 ap­pli­cants com­ing in from as far as Scot­land, and we have now taken on con­sul­tants to help us get the best peo­ple avail­able.

“With our se­nior posts the aim is to strengthen the struc­ture at the top as there are some tough de­ci­sions that have to be made.

“We will of course keep the sit­u­a­tion un­der re­view, and in 18 months to two years we will see if it is still work­ing, as we have to be on the ball.

“We have to con­sider the sit­u­a­tion and do the best we can.”

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