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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Van der Laarschot; The arrogance of Leadership.

   Right from his arrival, I never rated John van der Laarschot as our new city council Chief Executive Officer, I was firmly of the belief- and still am- that this grinning Devon surfer boy was here solely for the grotesque salary that came with the position, and not because he had any genuine affection for the city.
  That view has been shown to be right, because this man has achieved nothing in the turning round of this city council from the corruption riddled, Labour party boys club it always was.

  We said at the time that if you offer such a ridiculous salary package, all you'll get is people interested in the money, not the city, and once again, this proved to be right. Van der Laarschots salary of £195,000 was insane.
What we needed was a local person who would do the job for £60/£65k per year, the problem is that the city council is now so corrupt, and the network of freemasons and Common Purpose so comprehensive, that it is impossible to work around it, which is why it is vital that freemasons and Common Purpose are banned organisations for those that want to work in the public sector. I mention this because there exists a persistent rumour that van der Laarschot is Common Purpose, as was the last interim CEO, Chris Harman.

  As to sorting out the city, which is supposedly why he was chosen in the first place, his leadership and ideas have been particularly weak.
Now remember he has been paid nearly £200,000 to solve our problems, yet his big idea for doing so was to invite his consultancy mates in at a cost to the public purse of £400,000, for the first stage! If Vanguard Consultancy were kept on to stage 3, then the outlay from the public purse was to be at least £4 million!

  We have to ask why are we paying him a vast amount of money to do a job, when all he's doing is paying someone else to come in and do it for him?
And if these consultants are the only way to cure the ills affecting this city council, then why haven't the department heads whose departments need sorting out, been sacked? If they are doing the job so badly that outsiders have to be called in to rectify their mistakes, then the council should be dumping these officers that clearly are not up to the job!

  But what really pushed me into writing this, was a report from a friend who was returning from visiting his wife in hospital. As he drove round the one way system past the main entrance to the Civic Centre, he said there was a large lorry with a hiab( crane), lifting off bundles of timber decking. This is at about 5.30pm.
   There was talk that van der Laarschot was planning on refurbishing part of the Civic Centre upper floors, as every new arrival into one of the top spots seems to do.
Mike Wolfe did it when he was elected Mayor, Meredith did it, spending £730,000, and now van der Laarschot is doing it.

   So, some questions need to be answered.

What happens to all the expensive stuff the previous person bought, the furniture, carpets, and curtains?

How much is van der Laarschots refurbishment costing the public purse?

Why is he tackling such a project as this when the city council are sacking employees in order to save money?

Does he consider this a good example of competent financial management?

Why does he need a garden feature in the Civic Centre?

......and one more question that I think the readers would be interested in,
when is your contract up you moneygrabbing tosser?!

  I'm going to leave you with a comment from ex-councillor Ann James, who made these points on the titsntots website.

Submitted by Ann James on 01 Nov 2010 at about 22:48.

  The Leader and Chief Executive asked for cuts today yet! The council is still wasting money.
The chief executive is not cutting back on the refrubishment of floor 1. I understand these are to be the executives new offices. There is a garden space in the middle of this floor, I understand that decking has been delivered to improve this space.
If everyone has to make sacrifice, so should he. What is wrong with his existing offices. A fortune was spent on the Elected Mayors office when Mike Wolfe came to power, is this no longer good enough for the leader of the council?
Last year during the budget debate, suggestion on how cuts could be made were submitted, none that I can see have been taken into account, once again we see the same cuts as last year.
Dave Conway has critized the officers for not collecting money owed to the council. What have officers done to recify this?
700 staff to go that must have a effect on front line services, I hope the cabinet, officers and consultants who are reponsible for these reports and cuts dont end up costing the council more money, we have seen it in the past, agency staff at an extra cost will be brought to do the work, or service will deteriate that it could lead to government intervention, e.g childrens (that ended up costing the authority more).
There are good hard working staff in this authority after how this has been handled my fear is that we will lose them. This happened before, it took years to recover.
This City is working from a low base for funding both in grants and educations. Compare this City with other Unitary Authorities last year an officer told me we get £26m less than some of the other authorities. Although the Labour Government knew this they did nothing while in power, to bring us up to the same level as other Unitary Authorities. The cabinet should be arguing this with the present government. If funding is cut do it pro-rata, cut the authorites that have over and above there funding allowance.

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