Job losses and efficiency savings at Shepway District Council.

…during these difficult times we [the management] will be making every effort possible to ensure that the impact on staff of these cuts is as small as possible… we will do all we can to safeguard jobs within the authority.”


Who decides how much Shepway District Council (SDC) Corporate Directors and Chief Executive earn and what does the Chief Executive Alistair Stewart (pictured) do anyway?

Our Chief Executive, Alistair Stewart is a civil servant who oversees the work of 374 council staff, according to the last Statement of Accounts 16/17.

He works in conjunction with elected members like Council Leader David Monk(pictured below), but unlike him and other Cllrs, Mr Stewart hasn’t got any party affiliation and cannot be party political in his work or decisions. But his job does involve offering advice on policy to Cllrs.

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Now word has reached us some officers at SDC will have to re-apply for their jobs. Due to the implementation of a “transformation” policy to make efficiency savings, downsizing. Will this mean that those officers will get new terms and conditions and their salaries lowered, or will they stay the same or increase? What is the Union doing to assist those affected?

Also senior sources inside the building inform us that some officers are willing and wanting to jump ship to Dover District Council and that some will take redundancy, any Golden goodbyes? The number of staff identified is close to 60, so about 16% of the workforce will be culled from the Council.

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In July 2017, iGnite Consultants were brought into the Council at a cost of £60,000, “to carry out a 3 month piece of work (blueprint) to review current working practices / processes and technology across the whole council, and to recommend a new way forward in terms of the operating model for the council which will bring about substantial efficiencies and savings.” SDC Head of Transformation -Sarah Robson (pictured above) gave a presentation to Cllrs in the Chamber late last year.

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The above £60,000 waiver and order with iGnite has been paid over three payments, according to SDC’s payment to suppliers, first in October 17, then Nov 17 and Dec 2017, a total of £62,015.99.

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Well as you have read, the results are in, the Consultants have consulted and jobs must go, no surprise there when you have to avoid a £6.5 million deficit by 20/20/21. Behaving like an ostrich will not resolve the problem. However, rather than making a decision themselves they outsourced it. Did the Chief Exec and his team bottle making a decision themselves? Is that why the consultants were brought in? And the logic to this is that rather than make the decision in house, the Council brought in savings.

  • Savings do not require that efficiencies be recorded net of up-front investment costs i.e. if you spend money to save money, you count the money saved but not the money spent in the process. By this logic, scrapping posts and hiring in consultants counts as a total saving.”

    – Matthew Elliot and Lee Rotherham

Now of course, the fats cats earning in excess of £70,000  were probably NOT part of the Consultants remit. So no worries for Dr Susan Priest (pictured below left) who collected £112,536 in 16/17  Tim Madden – £112,536, John Bunnett (new kid on the block Jan 18) and Amandeep Khroud (pictured right) – £73,036. All amounts above are for Total Remuneration, including pension contributions in 2016/17.

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Since 2010, SDC Chief Executive Alistair Stewart total remuneration, including pension contributions is just over £935,000 that doesn’t of course include all the lunches the taxpayer may have paid for; and yet he and his monitoring officer – Amandeep Khroud have difficulty in understanding that statutory legislation supersedes SDC’s Constitution and between them collected more than £215,000 in 2016/17.

G1 StewartToday, Thursday the 15 Feb 2018 at 2pm at the Civic Centre a special meeting of the personal committee will meet and receive a verbal update and presentation from Andrina Smith, Head of HR at SDC, about the 2018 pay award. This of course will happen behind closed doors, which of course will come as no surprise to many of you. Will Alistair Stewart Chief Executive of SDC and his senior posse get a raise? What do you think?

We hope that those who will have to re-apply for their jobs are successful and that those jumping ship to Dover District Council or taking redundancy will contact us and leak to us  with any juicy morsel/s of intelligence, please do contact us. Strictest confidence applies.

shepwayvox at riseup dot net.

Meanwhile it’s beginning to look like too many chiefs and not enough Indians at Shepway District Council. We wonder if Alistair Stewart, Chief Executive of SDC still gets an “adrenaline rush” working for SDC?

Shepwayvox Team

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2 Comments on Job losses and efficiency savings at Shepway District Council.

  1. Jelly Bean Sweetheart // February 16, 2018 at 16:58 // Reply

    I get to know more about what’s going on in the building I work in from Shepwayvox, than I do from managers and others I work with. I really must get with it and transform myself and watch SDC cut staff and possibly increase the workload of those who survive the cull. I sincerely hope not. Oh and that pay rise don’t get me started…

  2. I bet Recruitment Solutions (Folkestone) Ltd are looking forward to cashing in….

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