West Sussex County Council Chief Executive accused of wasting money by his own staff.
As residents and motorists fall foul of West Sussex Council’s (WSCC) appalling road conditions and are facing cuts to essential services including the fire service, WSCC chief executive has been criticised by a member of his own staff member for wasting money.
Chief Executive Officer, Nathan Elvery who enjoys a near £200,000 a year salary plus has introduced new lanyards for all West Sussex County Council staff at a cost of £3,288 to the suffering tax payer.
The new lanyards are printed with the council’s core values, which oddly doesn’t include any reference to West Sussex County Council. A female member of WSCC staff has questioned the usefulness of the new lanyards on the council’s internal discussion board writing: “Are customers supposed to guess that I work for WSCC as my lanyard doesn’t say I do? There are of course advantages to having the promises written down. It seems a great opportunity to have people stare at my chest, always a pleasure for me and also it does make me feel genuinely valued.”
We have five core values, which are central to successfully achieving our vision and corporate plan priorities:
Proud to be customer-centred – we put the customer central to everything we do.
Listen and act upon – we listen to each other and act on what we say.
Honest and realistic – we are honest and realistic about what we can achieve.
Trust and support – we trust and support each other to achieve our goals.
Genuinely valued – we feel our contribution is valued and our achievements are recognised.
Clearly, under the council’s own Core Values, this member of staff’s comments on an internal council message board is in keeping with the above core values. She’s been honest in her opinions and her contribution should be valued and listened to. However, Nathan Elvery replies with all guns blazing accusing her of being ‘passive aggressive’ and being representative of what he describes as the ‘ugly under belly’ of the council’s organisational culture
In his reply to her on the same message board, he says: “The journey to changing our organisation has started and whilst I recognise for some this might present some individual challenges, this is a journey we will complete as an organisation. Many of our staff have embraced this change, I recognise some of our staff still require convincing and I recognise for some that this may not be a journey they want to be part of and therefore will not be with us at the end, but it is nonetheless this journey we will complete.”
Nathan Elvery’s reply leaves a lot to be desired. This bullying and belittling approach isn’t in keeping with the seniority of his role and can’t be helpful in motivating an already under-resourced staff.
He goes on to say: “Thank you for reminding me how far we still have to go in tackling the ugly underbelly of our organisational culture. This ‘passive aggressive’ nature of our current culture has the potential to blind our organisation from the reality we face, the changes which must come about if our organisation is to be successful and indeed survive the challenges which local government faces today and embrace the opportunities which are evident for us to improve as one organisation.”
If anyone is demonstrating passive aggressiveness and ugliness in this bizarre exchange it’s Mr Elvery. Surely council staff don’t need to hang the council’s 5 core values around their neck where they rest precariously in between ladies breasts, or swing like car air fresheners in an airport taxi – to be aware of the council’s values?
And we the public don’t need to see nearly £4,000 of our hard earned taxes spent on what is nothing more than a useless PR exercise?
Come to think to of, why does WSCC need to pay their Mr Elvery £190,000 a year to come up with this nonsense.
Surely both Mr Elvery’s salary and his £4k lanyards would be better spent on addressing the appalling state of the council’s potholed roads?
As always, thank you for reading, your comments welcome below.