In Defence of Andrea Hill

In response to a Freedom of Information request concerning The Suffolk County council Chief Executives contractual rights and obligations, Suffolk County Council confirm the following:

•The chief executive is subject to an annual review of performance

•Normal place of work is contractually stated as Endeavour House, Ipswich although the nature of the post requires the post holder to visit sites and attend meetings elsewhere

•Salary is confirmed as £218,592

•The post is subject to the nationally negotiated pay rise as agreed by the JNC for Chief Executives of Local Authorities

•The nature of the post precludes the fixation of working hours.

•Paid annual leave entitlement is 30 days

•Previous local government service, as statutorily defined, counts towards continuous service.

•Notice to terminate employment is three months on either side

•National conditions of service, including sickness provision, grievance and disciplinary procedures, are negotiated in the JNC for Chief Executives of LAs

•The post carries a legal restriction under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 on political activity

“The post is subject to the nationally negotiated pay rise as agreed by the JNC for Chief Executives of Local Authorities”

Hence Andrea Hill has been offered three pay rises as agreed by the JNC for Chief Executives of Local Authorities though Labour and the Lib Dems would try to claim offering her a pay rise was solely the idea of Conservative councillors.

“The post carries a legal restriction under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 on political activity”

Hence she is unable to comment on certain issues , one being how responsible any councillors are for her contract.

The fact is that the appointment of council executives is not up to councillors really – there are rules and procedures set in place so they get very little say in it. They have pay spines to be adhered to, none of which involves a pay cut!

A whole lot of other things are tied into unbreakable contracts. To get rid of one the council has to be able to afford the tribunal et al and to have good reason. Though the Lib Dems and especially labour talk as if it would be a doddle.

Obviously the Lib Dems like the £218,592 figure as it is the kind of figure that looks good on any copy of Lib Dem Focus. The question is, are Suffolk residents getting value for money?

Also by a Freedom of Information request I have a copy of the Chief Executives job description.

The Chief Executive is the head of the paid service of the County Council
and acts as its principal policy adviser.
Principal accountabilities
1. Work with Councillors in developing and promoting the county council’s core values, aims and objectives.
2. Ensure that clear, strategic objectives are set, monitored and achieved and that these reflect the policy direction defined by the county council.
3. Provide leadership to chief officers with annual performance review, ensuring a co-ordinated and corporate approach to managing the county council’s human, financial and physical resources.
4. Modernise the County Council and implement appropriate culture change.
5. Develop effective working relationships and good communications with and between county councillors and employees.
6. Ensure that people are motivated, developed, supported and respected in a way that will lead to the recruitment and retention of good quality employees and to continuous improvement in the delivery of the county council’s services.
7. Ensure that equal opportunities policies and practices are in place to eliminate unfair discrimination, both as an employer and provider of services.
8. Establish effective working relationships with key people in national and local government (at national, regional and local levels), public bodies, the voluntary sector and private business.
9. Ensure that the wider community is consulted and that partnership working, both within and outside the organisation, is actively encouraged in the development of policies and strategies and in the delivery of services.
10. Promote public understanding of the county council’s values, objectives, policies and services.

Andrea Hill has fulfilled these obligations with flying colours.

Is she suitable for the job?

This is the kind of person Suffolk county Council were looking for.
Part One
1. Evidence of relevant professional or senior management training and self development.
2. Extensive experience at senior management level within a local authority and/or large, multi-functional organisation with comparable scope, responsibilities, budgets and resources.
3. Proven track record of successful corporate management, working in partnership across functional departments including participation in the formulation of corporate objectives, policies and strategies within a large multi-disciplined organisation.
4. An understanding of local government and experience of successfully working within a political environment or comparable high-pressure organisation.
5. A successful track record of developing and maintaining a wide range of partnerships and networks, giving professional advice to and building effective and productive working relationships with senior managers and/or County Councillors.
6. A track record of demonstrable success in change management, managing a diverse range of services and translating organisational ambitions into real achievements.
7. Successful track record of engaging effectively with others, building productive working relationships with a variety of communities, partner organisations, private sector providers, Government, public agencies and statutory authorities, including contributing to best practice and policies in public service at a national level.
8. Successful track record of establishing a strong performance culture, effective performance and service quality evaluation that involves users and driving up standards and performance.
9. A record of successful resource management, budget formulation, rigorous monitoring and control of the performance of human, financial and physical resources in a complex organisation.

Andrea Hill fits these specific specifications.

Is she competent?
Part Two
Key competencies:
1. Ability to provide visible and supportive leadership, empowering, enabling, motivating and developing others, fostering a positive organisational environment that shows tolerance and respect for a variety of communities and cultures.
2. Ability to maintain a clear overview of issues affecting the Council and Council Members’ current thinking, ensuring they are given objective and timely advice and are properly informed on relevant matters.
3. Ability to propose, develop, communicate and implement a strategic vision, translating this into action through effective organisational strategies and business plans.
4. Ability to successfully analyse complex issues and situations, provide logical decisions, providing practical and creative solutions to problems through collaborative working.
5. Ability to manage and monitor performance effectively, setting clear objectives, managing competing priorities, balancing the different interests and needs of service users.
6. Ability to operate effectively within a political environment, with the acumen and skills to develop productive working relationships with Council Members and make effective links with other stakeholders to promote the Council’s interests and inspire the respect, trust and confidence.
7. Financial and commercial awareness, with strong analytical skills and a creative approach to problem solving.
8. Highly developed networking, advocacy, oral, written and interpersonal communications skills that are persuasive and influential with others, and show a clear understanding of corporate communications needs (including the need for corporate information technology systems).

She has shown herself to be competent.

What about her personal style and behaviour?

Personal style and behaviour
1. A robust, resilient, confident and resourceful leader who sets high standards, constantly seeks improvement for delivery of services, and overcomes obstacles to achieve objectives.
2. A commitment to the concept and value of public service, local democracy and partnership working.
3. A shrewd, creative, innovative strategic and lateral thinker who is aware of different needs of the various stakeholders, and can handle powerful people effectively, with the courage and judgement to challenge when required.
4. A commitment to equality of opportunity, respect, openness and fairness, promoting high standards of behaviour and professionalism for self and others
5. High standards of personal conduct, credibility, honesty and integrity that engages and inspires the loyalty trust and confidence of Council Members, senior managers, staff, local communities, external partners and other stakeholders.
6. An inclusive team worker who can work collaboratively across boundaries, harnessing and valuing individual differences, and achieving performance and results through others.
7. An excellent negotiator and facilitator with a flexible style and approach to different people.

I would give Andrea Hill the Job.

The local labour party has been putting it across that Conservative councillors should make Andrea Hill take a pay cut. This shows that Labour are not on the side of the worker because they believe that Suffolk County Councillors should bully Andrea Hill into taking a pay cut. If they did this and she complained to unison about her employers bullying her, what then?

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8 Responses to In Defence of Andrea Hill

  1. A Ross says:

    People are unhappy about her pay – including many Tory Cllrs – but the loudest noise calling for her to take a pay cut, is~

    Eric Pickles – Tory Minister – maybe send him a copy of your post

  2. Pingback: A defence of Andrea Hill, chief executive

  3. The point is that no one can force her into taking a pay cut. If she thinks she’s worth her salery in this time of austerity then it is up to us to persuade her she isn’t. She is definitely suitable for the job and this post demonstrates that she isn’t getting £218,592 for doing nothing as it seems to be being put across. Ipswich Labour talk as if Tory Councillors can make her take a pay cut.

    This is the Ipswich blog with a Conservative bias? I’m sure Bridge Ward News is in contention for that title.

  4. ursula mckeone says:

    My contract/pay has been changed without my agreement as has all social workers & ccps in suffolk, if the council can change our contracts so easily, why not andrea hills?

  5. I presume that it’s the way the JNC for Chief Executives organises the chief executives contracts.

  6. Pingback: Would Andrea Hill’s training bills have been better spend on lollipop patrols?

  7. Pingback: Maybe Andrea Just Likes the Attention | A riverside view Blog

  8. Pingback: Andrea Hill: Media Demonisation or Greed Epitomised? « Politics Matters

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