Concerns have been expressed over the departures of several senior members of staff at Cheshire East Council. The Director of Adult Social Care, the Director of Economic Growth & Prosperity, the Head of Legal Services (and monitoring officer), the Head of Corporate Resource and Stewardship and the Business Manager (formerly Head of Commercial Strategy, Business Innovation, and Performance and also formerly Internal Audit Manager) have all left or are leaving the Council.
Several of the staff who have left were awarded large pay rises under the previous leadership.
The departure of the monitoring officer, the most senior legal officer at the Council, must cause concerns, particularly as her departure comes only weeks after she was controversially awarded a 20% pay rise. Since it was formed 6 years ago, Cheshire East Council has had 5 different monitoring officers – with 4 of those leaving since Cllr Michael Jones became Leader of the Council.
Councillor Sam Corcoran said, “In July 2015 I argued that money is not the best way to motivate senior staff and argued that the Council shouldn’t be using money to try to buy loyalty. The Conservative leadership pressed ahead with big pay rises for senior staff, but simply increasing pay has not been sufficient to retain some senior staff. I think Cheshire East is a great place to live and work - we should not be competing on price. We should be competing on quality of life and job satisfaction.”
Councillor Nick Mannion said, “Labour Councillors have repeatedly raised concerns about the culture at Cheshire East Council and its impact on staff. After the departure of Michael Jones it was hoped that the culture of the organisation would be addressed, but the level of staff turnover suggests that the problems have not been resolved.”