by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Local Government Correspondent Wynan Dinem
Thanet Council is set to create two new Deputy Chief Executive posts, whilst axing other essential jobs throughout the organisation.
The news comes in a consultation letter to staff from Chief Executive Richard Samuel, which has been seen by the Gazunder. Recently the council reduced the number of senior officers from three to two, following what was rumoured to be a six figure pay-off after an embarrassing and highly publicised 'chocolate fountain debacle'. Now the two remaining senior officers look set to be rewarded for such successes as the Thanet Gateway One Stop Benefits Library in Cecil Square, and the creation of new Blue Flag beaches in Ramsgate Harbour.
The council also proposes to give Heads of Services the opportunity to enhance their salaries by being promoted to a new 'Chief Executive's Group', providing they meet certain service level criteria.
One insider commented: 'These proposals look like rewarding failure if you ask me. The council was recently rated a poor 'fair', with financial services given a 'weak'. Yet fewer than 1% of the council's 750 staff were awarded a less than 'satisfactory' appraisal last year, and now senior staff look set to get pay rises. Does that really reflect local people's experience of dealing with TDC?'
Last month Thanet announced an inflation busting 4.5% hike in council tax.
Note to subs: Should put balancing comment from council here but council chief on sick leave so went down pub instead - Wynan