Many staff either employed by Shepway District Council (SDC) or let go have received payments to ease their departure from previous jobs or for leaving SDC.
According to the 2015/16 accounts and an Freedom of Information request, former Head of Housing, Land and Property Bob Porter (below) received £37,616.92 as ‘compensation’ to ‘ease his departure’ from SDC.
Bob was head of Housing, Land & Property from January 2014 – August 2015 (1 year 8 months). He was a head of service and member of the senior management team at Shepway DC. Responsible for broad portfolio of services including housing, grounds maintenance, transport, development projects, engineering and corporate property.
After Bob’s departure he moved on to open up OSTIA CONSULTING LTD and is currently Interim Head of Housing & now working for Thanet District Council.
Moving on our former s151 Finance Officer and Chief Finance Officer, Joanna Miller
received £26,230 plus £100 for entering into confidentiality clause. She was with SDC for less than eighteen months. However, Ms Miller has form regarding confidentiality clauses and exit payments. She previously received £50,000 from Craven District Council as a ‘compensation package’ with a confidentiality clause.
Dr Susan Priest Corporate Director Shepway District Council
got more than £170,000 in compensation for the loss of her role when she left South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) in 2012.
Cllr Claire Jeffrey (Lab), a former SDC employee as an information officer was also given a compensation package and gagged when she left SDC. Does she as a Cllr believe exit packages are a wise use of public money?
In April this year Meg Hillier, the chairwoman of the Commons public accounts committee, told the BBC it was unacceptable that agreements were being used to prevent whistleblowing.
And we informed you back in July SDC Gagging Orders increase 82% in 2015/16
So our questions to you dear readers are as follows:
1 Is this a wise use of public money?
2 Do you believe that Shepway District Council is an open and transparent council?
3 Was Bob Porter’s move from SDC to Thanet Council part of a revolving door policy?
4 Should public money be used to gag SDC staff? After all SDC surely believe in telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,don’t they?
We’ll leave you to decide.
If you know of anyone who received an ‘exit package’ from SDC over the years, do let us know via our usual email address: email@example.com.