West Sussex County Council boss accused of wasting tax payer’s money.

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.”

The library assistant concludes she is: “thrilled to know that the finances at WSCC are now so improved that we can stretch to buying these for all staff, a great use of resources.”

WSCC’s Core Values are published on the council’s website as follows:

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.


Shoreham’s Adur Ferry Bridge Officially Opened.

Opening of Shoreham's Adur  Ferry Bridge 3His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester officially opened Shoreham’s Adur Ferry Bridge earlier today, Wednesday, 13th November 2013.

Opening of Shoreham's Adur Ferry Bridge 4Large crowds gathered to watch the official opening ceremony of this impressive swinging bridge. The Bridge, designed and constructed by Osborne’s has taken just over a year to complete at a cost of just over £10 million. Money has been provided via a number of sources including Sustrans (the walking and cycling charity) and Heritage Lottery funding.

Shoreham Adur Ferry Bridge openAs the Duke officially opened the Bridge, the centre opening of the bridge began to swing round to it’s closed position in what appeared to be an effortless, silent motion.

Shoreham Adur Ferry Bridge open 2The bridge closing.

Shoreham Adur Ferry bridge open 3Waiting for the bridge to close.

Adur Ferry BridgeDignitaries led by HRH The Duke Of Gloucester lead the first party across the river where they met residents from Shoreham Beach. 96 year-old Jack Lucking  then led thousands of Shoreham residents across the bridge in the brilliant sunshine.

Shoreham Adur Ferry Bridge 3Shoreham Beach residents make their way across towards Shoreham.

Shoreham Adur ferry bridge 4Shoreham Adur Ferry bridge 5The Bridge, which is superb and offers great views as well offering protection from the elements will be used by walkers, cyclists and mobility scooter users.

There was a real carnival atmosphere in Shoreham-by-Sea earlier today and the celebrations are ongoing with a firework finale scheduled for later this evening. Shoreham residents led by local school children are going to perform a massive Conga to celebrate the bridge’s opening.

This is an excellent, real life example of regeneration and although Shoreham beach residents have been without their footbridge for over a year while this new bridge was being built, there was real agreement amongst those that I spoke to that the wait had been worth it.

Shoreham Adur ferry bridge 6