There’s 94,500 rea­sons why we’re in­ter­ested

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR VIEWS -

Alit­tle bit of me feels sorry for be­leagured Metro mayor James Palmer. The head of the un­want- ed and unloved (but snap­pily ti­tled) Cam­bridgeshire and Peter­bor­ough Com­bined Au­thor­ity is un­der fire af­ter the res­ig­na­tion - with £94,500 in his back pocket - of chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin White­ley.

The rea­son a lit­tle bit of me (it must be part of my big heart!) feels sorry for him is that many other pub­lic or­gan­i­sa­tions have done this sort of deal with­out cre­at­ing any­where near the furore this one has caused.

The rea­son most of me doesn’t have any sym­pa­thy with him is be­cause these deals are just plain wrong and the pub­lic is sick and tired of see­ing their hard­earned cash used in this way.

Mr Palmer’s com­pounded his prob­lems when giv­ing an in­ter­view about the pay­out claim­ing that mem­bers of the Cam­bridgeshire pub­lic were not “even slightly in­ter­ested’’ in it.

He is so wrong about that. Mem­bers of the Cam­bridgeshire pub­lic were prob­a­bly not even slightly in­ter­ested in the com­bined au­thor­ity, but one sure way to en­gage them is to hand out their cash like con­fetti to al­ready very well paid peo­ple.

Mr Palmer said there was a ‘rea­son’ the agree­ment reached be­tween Mr White­ley’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the CA had not been made pub­lic.

It is pos­si­ble – although we don’t know be­cause it’s not been made pub­lic – that a Non-Dis­clo­sure agree­ment has been made.

We are of course en­ter­ing Catch-22 or even through the look­ing glass ter­ri­tory here.

These sort of deals when pub­lic money is in­volved should be out­lawed.

They won’t be, of course, be­cause the peo­ple who could make it hap­pen know one day they might need one them­selves.

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