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.

 

Littlehampton new swimming pool and leisure centre given the go ahead.

Great news for Littlehampton residents and visitors to our beautiful seaside town. Councillors at Arun District Council have unanimously agreed Arun District Council’s (ADC) to build a new Leisure centre including a  new 25 meter swimming pool.

Littlehampton’s new leisure centre will be located at the existing Sea Road site with the new building being built on the site of the existing Sport’s Dome, thereby allowing the existing swimming pool, gym and cafe to continue to operate during the building works.

Facilities at Littlehampton’s new Leisure Centre will include:

  • 25 metre pool
  • Learner pool with a moveable floor
  • Gym – circa 450 m2 giving up to 85 stations
  • Spinning Studio
  • Cafe
  • Multipurpose meeting room
  • Dome will be replaced with a 4 court sports hall
  • 2 flexible studios that will be able to accommodate many of the activities that take place in the existing sports dome.
  • new facility will be DDA Compliant.

New facility will not include a 50 metre swimming pool.

Some will be disappointed that the new facility does not include a 50metre swimming pool, however Arun advise that this wouldn’t be possible as the costs of constructing one would increase the project costs by an estimated £3m and the subsequent running costs would be considerably higher.

Dome users will have no facilities while works are underway

Unfortunately current users of the Dome will see this facility taken away as the new building is being built on this part of the site. Arun advise that Freedom Leisure are currently working on ways of providing alternative facilities.

Littlehampton Residents Concerns.

Some residents had worried that the new facility would be located in North Littlehampton, however Arun District Council have now decided that new facilities will be located in the existing site, which is great news for Littlehampton’s seafront.

Tree felling.

Others have worried that the new facility will require trees to be felled in Littlehampton’s Mewsbrook Park and Ruby Gardens. Although some trees will have to be felled to allow building works, Arun advise that will take place outside of the nesting season and will be kept to a minimum. They also promise to replant trees to replace those felled.

Impact on the Aqua Youth Centre

Apart from what Arun describe as some small alterations to the layout of the Aqua Youth Centre, Arun advise that this much-loved and tremendous local sailing facility will continue to operate as normal.

Building works begin in Spring 2017

Building of the new facilities is expected to begin as early as Spring 2017 and completion by April 2019.

Arun District Council are giving assurances that works will not disrupt existing leisure facility users and current car parking arrangements and access will be  maintained.

The new facility is expected to cost £15million and Arun are a little unclear as to how this will be funded. They state that funding will come from:

  1. Capital receipts
  2. Borrowing (which Arun describe as ‘prudent borrowing’.
  3. Grant from Sport England

Arun have yet to have grant funding from Sport England approved,  and it’s unclear if they’ve actually yet applied for a grant, yet this is still classified as a funding source. Somewhat worrying, as what happens if Sport England reject their grant application?

Who pays then, and more importantly, how much?

Although this is very much welcome news for Littlehampton and Arun residents, we should all keep a close eye on the project’s progress to ensure that what’s promised is actually delivered.

Once the new facility has been built, Arun advise that the old facility will be demolished and the area turned into a public space.


As always thanks for reading, your comments welcome.