As Skuds linked to my last post, it’s time to repay the favour. I’d heard a little about West Sussex County Council Chief Executive Mark Hammond being put on gardening leave, but there seems to be something a bit odd going on down in Chichester.
Henry Smith was the leader of WSCC from 2001, but as he became an MP in May, he moved aside. His new replacement is Louise Goldsmith, and it seems that she wanted to sack Mr Hammond outright before objections were raised on the basis of employment law. Generally, you can’t sack people from a job they’ve been doing for years without going through some kind of ‘due process’ – even in the private sector – and Goldsmith wasn’t aware.
It could be all sorts of things that has caused this: a personality clash, a new leader wanting to put her stamp on the authority, perhaps Mr Hammond has done something that warrants disciplinary action. Or perhaps Ms Goldsmith is another Tory council leader who has decided to cut costs by removing the most senior public servant role.