I’ve been told that in the latest edition of the Rugby Advertiser there’s an article about Craig Humphrey. He is the leading councillor at Rugby Borough Council, leader of the Conservative Group and of the Cabinet.
For some time, Rugby has been without a Chief Executive – that’s the most senior public servant. For some time there were two senior officers deputising, and this was a temporary arrangement while the idea of a merger with Nuneaton was being discussed. In May, the Tories lost control of Nuneaton to Labour, and the merger was called off.
So, Rugby should have been looking for a new Chief Executive, right? Well, apparently they didn’t need to look too far, because Councillor Humphrey is taking the role on.
However, it seems to me to be wholly inappropriate for the leading councillor to be an employee of the council. Indeed, I thought that no employee of the council could even stand in election to the same council, let hold a seat. So how is this being done legally?
What’s more, the job of the CE is not only to carry out the wishes of the Council, but also to advise the Council and to ensure that it remains inside the law. How can he be accountable to himself, advise himself, and monitor himself? It’s an ethical nightmare.
Now, I haven’t read the Advertiser (and the piece is not on their sparse website), so I don’t have the full picture. If anyone who reads this has any more information, I’d love to hear it (email address on the right, or comments below). Because this has a really, really, dodgy odour to it.