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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Council’s new top boss to get £1,000 a day

A new top boss is being paid £1,100 a day to run troubled Slough Borough Council – but will only work a maximum of four days a week.

Will Tuckley was hired to run the financially-stricken council on a temporary basis last month by government-appointed commissioners on 22 March– a week after its previous chief executive Stephen Brown stood down.

In a letter to the council, the commissioners said he would be paid £1,100 a day, up to four days a week for at least six months or until a new permanent top boss is found.

The letter said: “Mr Tuckley will be appointed on an interim basis for up to four days a week at a daily rate of £1,100 and will remain in place until such a time as the role of Chief Executive and Head of Paid Services is filled on a permanent basis. This will be reviewed after six months.”

A new temporary chief finance officer – Annabel Scholes – has also been appointed at a rate of £1,375 a day, working nine days a fortnight. This figure includes an agency fee, meaning her actual salary will be lower – although the full cost will be paid by Slough Borough Council.

The commissioners were given the power to take over council decisions after it effectively went bankrupt in 2021. Their decisions to recruit Will Tuckley and Annabel Scholes were reported to a full council meeting on 25 April – although councillors were only given the opportunity to note the new appointments.

It came after previous chief executive Stephen Brown stood down on March 15, and former chief finance officer Adele Taylor formally left on 25 April – after just over a year in the job. Several other senior managers of council departments have also recently been appointed.

Cllr Pavitar Kaur Mann –Labour group opposition leader. Image: Slough Borough Council

Councillor Pavitar Kaur Mann – leader of the opposition Labour group on Slough Borough Council – described the changes at the top as ‘absolutely chaotic’.

She said: “This constant changing and churning of officers and members in different posts is going to stop the very real and needed focus on recovery.”

But Conservative council leader Dexter Smith said the council’s recovery meant it needed new senior managers – and many had to be on an interim basis out of necessity.

He said: “We’re doing our best to both bring clarity, form and structure and crucially the right level of capacity to the organisation for the jobs to be done that are needed and we are doing all of this for the residents to improve quality of service and value for money.”

The chief executive and chief finance officers are not councillors, but senior full time council staff who manage the organisation. Will Tuckley has previously been chief executive at the City of Brighton and Hove, Tower Hamlets and the London Borough of Bexley councils.

Annabell Scholes has held top finance posts at Nottingham City, Bristol City and Norwich City councils and the Metropolitan Police.

The commissioners did not respond to a request for comment.

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