Shortlisted candidate drops out of running to become Brighton council chief

A candidate has dropped out of the running to become the chief of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Brighton and Hove City Council was to interview four women for its role of chief executive over the next two days.

However, before interviews today and tomorrow, The Argus understands one of the candidates – Nicola Yates, the former chief executive of Hull City Council – has withdrawn from the running for the £150,000 job.

It comes as council leader Jason Kitcat criticised the leaking of names on the shortlist, which appeared in The Argus last week, and called for all parties to work together in the best interest of the city.

Coun Kitcat said: “Leaking sensitive information such as this seeks to undermine the process agreed by the whole council in its constitution and the laws regulating local government.

“We have to accept political differences exist but also agree to be bound by the democratic processes of our council.

“I call on residents to help politicians change the political culture in the city – challenge us when we slip backwards and demand productive cross-party relations from all parties.”

Today candidates will be interviewed by stakeholders, such as voluntary groups, trade union representatives and business leaders.

Tomorrow they will grilled by the cross-party panel of councillors, made up of three Green members, two Conservative and one Labour.

A decision and announcement of the preferred candidate is expected to be taken tomorrow. It must be approved at a meeting of full council later this month.

The shortlist was a matter on controversy with the three opposition councillors on the panel favouring the shortlisting of current Lewes District Council chief executive Jenny Rowlands.

However, this was ruled out by the council leader’s casting vote and Ms Yates was included instead.

Coun Kitcat admitted he had “made a mistake” in admitting publicly he had not signed off a council statement which said the candidates had “been agreed” by the panel. It has since been proved he did.

Coun Kitcat said: “Bearing in mind that I sign off many statements every day, it’s actually an easy enough mistake to make, and as soon as I realised the error, I corrected it.

“Let’s be clear that the council statement was correct, it doesn’t suggest unanimity, just that the shortlist was agreed in line with the standard process for the council’s panels and committees.

“To say that a committee or panel ‘agreed’ something is perfectly normal practice, and I’m not aware of an opposition leader ever questioning this type of wording before, it’s just the usual democratic process.

“We need to accept these processes and focus on the best interests of the city.

“Let’s not be distracted from the fact that someone sought to undermine a clear, fair and proper process to recruit a key role for the city.”

The candidates

Penelope Thompson, former chief executive of Hackney Borough Council and current CEO of General Social Care Council

Gill Steward, corporate director for communities, Cornwall County Council

Lyn Carpenter, bi-borough executive director for environment, leisure and residents’ services, Hammersmith & Fulham and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Comments (20)

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11:37am Tue 2 Oct 12

pperrin says...

Green manifesto promised max pay of eight times minimum pay. That is a cap of £105,000 - so how are the greens funding the other £45,000?

Is that where the 52 bus subusidy went? Or mobile library funding?

Will the greens be expelling those councillors who allowed this salary to be offered?
Green manifesto promised max pay of eight times minimum pay. That is a cap of £105,000 - so how are the greens funding the other £45,000? Is that where the 52 bus subusidy went? Or mobile library funding? Will the greens be expelling those councillors who allowed this salary to be offered? pperrin

11:47am Tue 2 Oct 12

pperrin says...

What is this about 'stakeholders' interviewing candidates??

The only stakeholders who matter are the residents and council-tax payers.

And the council doesn't even want us to know who the candidates are!

So much for Green promises of real local democracy/consultati
on...
What is this about 'stakeholders' interviewing candidates?? The only stakeholders who matter are the residents and council-tax payers. And the council doesn't even want us to know who the candidates are! So much for Green promises of real local democracy/consultati on... pperrin

11:59am Tue 2 Oct 12

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

In the public sector it is quite normal to canvass candidates and obtain references before interviews, even where someone has not been short-listed.
The rest of us do things in a business-like, commercial and confidential fashion!
In the public sector it is quite normal to canvass candidates and obtain references before interviews, even where someone has not been short-listed. The rest of us do things in a business-like, commercial and confidential fashion! Tailgaters Anonymous

12:15pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Old Ale Man says...

My monies on the Hackney candidate hotbed area for loony lefty of the Labour party and as tony Blair threw them out they are now the Green party.
My monies on the Hackney candidate hotbed area for loony lefty of the Labour party and as tony Blair threw them out they are now the Green party. Old Ale Man

12:52pm Tue 2 Oct 12

saveHOVE says...

Interested to know which 'voluntary groups' were favoured to be included in this interview opportunity.

Just looking at their present jobs, I would give anyone from the Hackney Council a total miss.

"Communities" is a painful notion in the hands of bureaucrats and equals social engineering so give her a miss.

That leaves the one working in London as the least painful option with the most likely mindset to provide services rather than politically correct 'projects'.

Each of these women chose their postions. Environment, leisure and residents services sounds like what Brighton and Hove are about.

But the Greens are abut Painfully PC agendas rather than boring old services so they won't choose Lyn Carpenter.

Again I ask though: which voluntary groups were favoured for inclusion in this stakeholders interview ?
Interested to know which 'voluntary groups' were favoured to be included in this interview opportunity. Just looking at their present jobs, I would give anyone from the Hackney Council a total miss. "Communities" is a painful notion in the hands of bureaucrats and equals social engineering so give her a miss. That leaves the one working in London as the least painful option with the most likely mindset to provide services rather than politically correct 'projects'. Each of these women chose their postions. Environment, leisure and residents services sounds like what Brighton and Hove are about. But the Greens are abut Painfully PC agendas rather than boring old services so they won't choose Lyn Carpenter. Again I ask though: which voluntary groups were favoured for inclusion in this stakeholders interview ? saveHOVE

12:52pm Tue 2 Oct 12

F in L says...

However, before interviews today and tomorrow, The Argus understands one of the candidates – Nicola Yates, the former chief executive of Hull City Council – has withdrawn from the running for the £150,000 job......

FORMER AS IN 5 YEARS AGO!.....


Gill Steward, corporate director for communities, Cornwall County Council.............

Councillors in Cornwall sent a clear message to leaders they do not back proposals to unite with a private company to run services.

In July this year, the Cabinet at Cornwall Council paved the way for a joint venture partnership with a private company by inviting bids to run services including libraries, benefit payments, IT and payroll.

However, yesterday, following a tense three-and-a-half-hou
r debate at County Hall, 46 councillors voted in favour of a motion that flew in the face of what council leaders are pushing for.

The motion stated the Cabinet's earlier decision was not in the best interests of the people of Cornwall.

Private firms currently in the running include BT and Computer Sciences Corporation.

The contract on the table is worth between an estimated £210 million and £800 million.

Before the debate took place councillors voted not to hold the discussion in private.

During a presentation to the chamber, Gill Steward, corporate director communities, said: "This is not outsourcing or privatisation of our services............
....................
.
It's creating a public/private partnership to deliver services for Cornwall."..........


Righto!
However, before interviews today and tomorrow, The Argus understands one of the candidates – Nicola Yates, the former chief executive of Hull City Council – has withdrawn from the running for the £150,000 job...... FORMER AS IN 5 YEARS AGO!..... Gill Steward, corporate director for communities, Cornwall County Council............. Councillors in Cornwall sent a clear message to leaders they do not back proposals to unite with a private company to run services. In July this year, the Cabinet at Cornwall Council paved the way for a joint venture partnership with a private company by inviting bids to run services including libraries, benefit payments, IT and payroll. However, yesterday, following a tense three-and-a-half-hou r debate at County Hall, 46 councillors voted in favour of a motion that flew in the face of what council leaders are pushing for. The motion stated the Cabinet's earlier decision was not in the best interests of the people of Cornwall. Private firms currently in the running include BT and Computer Sciences Corporation. The contract on the table is worth between an estimated £210 million and £800 million. Before the debate took place councillors voted not to hold the discussion in private. During a presentation to the chamber, Gill Steward, corporate director communities, said: "This is not outsourcing or privatisation of our services............ .................... . It's creating a public/private partnership to deliver services for Cornwall.".......... Righto! F in L

2:09pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Lady Smith says...

Old Ale Man wrote:
My monies on the Hackney candidate hotbed area for loony lefty of the Labour party and as tony Blair threw them out they are now the Green party.
What an articulate expression of profound political insight. You'll be on 'Question Time' soon, no doubt.
[quote][p][bold]Old Ale Man[/bold] wrote: My monies on the Hackney candidate hotbed area for loony lefty of the Labour party and as tony Blair threw them out they are now the Green party.[/p][/quote]What an articulate expression of profound political insight. You'll be on 'Question Time' soon, no doubt. Lady Smith

2:34pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Dealing with idiots says...

Probably could not stomach Jason Kitcat bullying her no matter how good the money was.

Come on Labour and Conservatives, work together for our benefit rather than allowing these nutters to ruin the city.
Probably could not stomach Jason Kitcat bullying her no matter how good the money was. Come on Labour and Conservatives, work together for our benefit rather than allowing these nutters to ruin the city. Dealing with idiots

4:03pm Tue 2 Oct 12

salty_pete says...

I wonder, seeing that the short list was entirely female, if any positive discrimination was being applied to the selection process to ensure that the next chief executive would be the first female chief officer we've had. If this is the case then how can we ever be sure that the most suitable, or best, candidates have been selected for shortlisting?
I wonder, seeing that the short list was entirely female, if any positive discrimination was being applied to the selection process to ensure that the next chief executive would be the first female chief officer we've had. If this is the case then how can we ever be sure that the most suitable, or best, candidates have been selected for shortlisting? salty_pete

4:27pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Lady Smith says...

salty_pete wrote:
I wonder, seeing that the short list was entirely female, if any positive discrimination was being applied to the selection process to ensure that the next chief executive would be the first female chief officer we've had. If this is the case then how can we ever be sure that the most suitable, or best, candidates have been selected for shortlisting?
Funny how no-one raises this point about 'suitable candidates' when shortlists are all-male...
[quote][p][bold]salty_pete[/bold] wrote: I wonder, seeing that the short list was entirely female, if any positive discrimination was being applied to the selection process to ensure that the next chief executive would be the first female chief officer we've had. If this is the case then how can we ever be sure that the most suitable, or best, candidates have been selected for shortlisting?[/p][/quote]Funny how no-one raises this point about 'suitable candidates' when shortlists are all-male... Lady Smith

4:36pm Tue 2 Oct 12

saveHOVE says...

Lady Smith wrote:
salty_pete wrote: I wonder, seeing that the short list was entirely female, if any positive discrimination was being applied to the selection process to ensure that the next chief executive would be the first female chief officer we've had. If this is the case then how can we ever be sure that the most suitable, or best, candidates have been selected for shortlisting?
Funny how no-one raises this point about 'suitable candidates' when shortlists are all-male...
Spot. On. Thank you for saying this!
[quote][p][bold]Lady Smith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]salty_pete[/bold] wrote: I wonder, seeing that the short list was entirely female, if any positive discrimination was being applied to the selection process to ensure that the next chief executive would be the first female chief officer we've had. If this is the case then how can we ever be sure that the most suitable, or best, candidates have been selected for shortlisting?[/p][/quote]Funny how no-one raises this point about 'suitable candidates' when shortlists are all-male...[/p][/quote]Spot. On. Thank you for saying this! saveHOVE

4:40pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Point says...

As for backbone, honesty and voting on conscience, my vote would be Cllr summers to be the CEO and her first job would be to boot out all the lunatic greens that signed the mandate asking her to leave...
As for backbone, honesty and voting on conscience, my vote would be Cllr summers to be the CEO and her first job would be to boot out all the lunatic greens that signed the mandate asking her to leave... Point

8:22pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Why no candidates from the wider business world instead of the usual treadmill of public sector directors wandering around UK councils filling posts doing the same old thing.
We need a strong leader, with vision and economic experience with experience not a passive passenger.
Why no candidates from the wider business world instead of the usual treadmill of public sector directors wandering around UK councils filling posts doing the same old thing. We need a strong leader, with vision and economic experience with experience not a passive passenger. Maxwell's Ghost

9:36pm Tue 2 Oct 12

ourcoalition says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
Why no candidates from the wider business world instead of the usual treadmill of public sector directors wandering around UK councils filling posts doing the same old thing.
We need a strong leader, with vision and economic experience with experience not a passive passenger.
Very simple answer - the pay isn't high enough, they wouldn't get bonuses each year, and there are no shares (which often gets around the thorny issue of paying those bonuses) to be had.
You could of course elect me on half the pay, but you might like my politics even less than the Greens - having said that, I would take all decisions based on what I thought was best for the City. Yup, on second thoughts, I'll apply!!!
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: Why no candidates from the wider business world instead of the usual treadmill of public sector directors wandering around UK councils filling posts doing the same old thing. We need a strong leader, with vision and economic experience with experience not a passive passenger.[/p][/quote]Very simple answer - the pay isn't high enough, they wouldn't get bonuses each year, and there are no shares (which often gets around the thorny issue of paying those bonuses) to be had. You could of course elect me on half the pay, but you might like my politics even less than the Greens - having said that, I would take all decisions based on what I thought was best for the City. Yup, on second thoughts, I'll apply!!! ourcoalition

10:31pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Whoever comes into post will last a year at most and either go off sick or leave with the usual platitudes about the time being right to move on.
Apparently the turnover is because the officer side of the council is in disarray without any leadership and the elected side is in equal disarray and disharmony.
Apparently its the first time that the elected and non-elected functions of the authority are in disarray and disharmony.
Strong leadership is needed to give the council directionbut I am not sure the public sector can provide a candidate.
In the meantime, the rudderless ship meanders through the storms on a wing and a prayer.....well not too much praying as Christianity is naughty and faith schools are cults apparently.
Whoever comes into post will last a year at most and either go off sick or leave with the usual platitudes about the time being right to move on. Apparently the turnover is because the officer side of the council is in disarray without any leadership and the elected side is in equal disarray and disharmony. Apparently its the first time that the elected and non-elected functions of the authority are in disarray and disharmony. Strong leadership is needed to give the council directionbut I am not sure the public sector can provide a candidate. In the meantime, the rudderless ship meanders through the storms on a wing and a prayer.....well not too much praying as Christianity is naughty and faith schools are cults apparently. Maxwell's Ghost

11:33pm Tue 2 Oct 12

General Dreedle says...

Lady Smith wrote:
Old Ale Man wrote:
My monies on the Hackney candidate hotbed area for loony lefty of the Labour party and as tony Blair threw them out they are now the Green party.
What an articulate expression of profound political insight. You'll be on 'Question Time' soon, no doubt.
Perhaps not articulated as you would like but I would agree that the Hackney CEO will get the post as she is the only one of the candidates left with CEO experience. She seems to be the safe pair of hands the town needs at this point and does not seem to be tainted with a record of outsourcing services. I would also predict that this is just a pitstop for Penelope and within two years she will be off to another CEO position back in the big smoke. A massive opportunity was lost by not
interviewing Jenny Rowlands. A very capable local well liked by her staff who has a track record of bringing diverse views together. Watch out for local election time in 2014 when we are without another CEO and even more disarray than we are in now. I hope you prove me wrong Tommo but even if you do go in two years, please concentrate on delivering services for residents whilst you are here rather than trendy management initatives, pilot programmes and doublespeak. We have had a belly load recently.
[quote][p][bold]Lady Smith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Old Ale Man[/bold] wrote: My monies on the Hackney candidate hotbed area for loony lefty of the Labour party and as tony Blair threw them out they are now the Green party.[/p][/quote]What an articulate expression of profound political insight. You'll be on 'Question Time' soon, no doubt.[/p][/quote]Perhaps not articulated as you would like but I would agree that the Hackney CEO will get the post as she is the only one of the candidates left with CEO experience. She seems to be the safe pair of hands the town needs at this point and does not seem to be tainted with a record of outsourcing services. I would also predict that this is just a pitstop for Penelope and within two years she will be off to another CEO position back in the big smoke. A massive opportunity was lost by not interviewing Jenny Rowlands. A very capable local well liked by her staff who has a track record of bringing diverse views together. Watch out for local election time in 2014 when we are without another CEO and even more disarray than we are in now. I hope you prove me wrong Tommo but even if you do go in two years, please concentrate on delivering services for residents whilst you are here rather than trendy management initatives, pilot programmes and doublespeak. We have had a belly load recently. General Dreedle

12:10am Wed 3 Oct 12

Lofaplace says...

Penelope Thompson, former chief executive of Hackney Borough Council for TWO YEARS ending in 2007...... RETIRED!! So much more profitable than resigning... She was on £160k + THEN!


Current Positions Held

Chief Executive of the General Social Care Council (GSCC).

Co-Director of PeysnerThompson Ltd. - 2007 to date

Coach/mentor to Director of C4EO - 2008 to date
Penelope Thompson, former chief executive of Hackney Borough Council for TWO YEARS ending in 2007...... RETIRED!! So much more profitable than resigning... She was on £160k + THEN! Current Positions Held Chief Executive of the General Social Care Council (GSCC). Co-Director of PeysnerThompson Ltd. - 2007 to date Coach/mentor to Director of C4EO - 2008 to date Lofaplace

3:18am Wed 3 Oct 12

fredflintstone1 says...

Lofaplace wrote:
Penelope Thompson, former chief executive of Hackney Borough Council for TWO YEARS ending in 2007...... RETIRED!! So much more profitable than resigning... She was on £160k + THEN!


Current Positions Held

Chief Executive of the General Social Care Council (GSCC).

Co-Director of PeysnerThompson Ltd. - 2007 to date

Coach/mentor to Director of C4EO - 2008 to date
If you're right that she is the same Penelope Thompson, linked as a co-director of Peysner Thompson Ltd, it's worth noting that this company was actually dissolved on 23 August 2011. The appointment of a director with this name was terminated previously, on 27 March 2010.

She is a social worker by training, and on the Slater-Baker website (which offers "an elite group of speakers for hire"), it is claimed that for "over 20 years Penny has taken on a series of challenging leadership roles, which have shared the characteristics of requiring “recovery” from managerial and practice failures." I wonder how that equates with the job that she's applied for here???
[quote][p][bold]Lofaplace[/bold] wrote: Penelope Thompson, former chief executive of Hackney Borough Council for TWO YEARS ending in 2007...... RETIRED!! So much more profitable than resigning... She was on £160k + THEN! Current Positions Held Chief Executive of the General Social Care Council (GSCC). Co-Director of PeysnerThompson Ltd. - 2007 to date Coach/mentor to Director of C4EO - 2008 to date[/p][/quote]If you're right that she is the same Penelope Thompson, linked as a co-director of Peysner Thompson Ltd, it's worth noting that this company was actually dissolved on 23 August 2011. The appointment of a director with this name was terminated previously, on 27 March 2010. She is a social worker by training, and on the Slater-Baker website (which offers "an elite group of speakers for hire"), it is claimed that for "over 20 years Penny has taken on a series of challenging leadership roles, which have shared the characteristics of requiring “recovery” from managerial and practice failures." I wonder how that equates with the job that she's applied for here??? fredflintstone1

7:30am Wed 3 Oct 12

Dealing with idiots says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
Why no candidates from the wider business world instead of the usual treadmill of public sector directors wandering around UK councils filling posts doing the same old thing.
We need a strong leader, with vision and economic experience with experience not a passive passenger.
Certainly not a Jason a** kisser.
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: Why no candidates from the wider business world instead of the usual treadmill of public sector directors wandering around UK councils filling posts doing the same old thing. We need a strong leader, with vision and economic experience with experience not a passive passenger.[/p][/quote]Certainly not a Jason a** kisser. Dealing with idiots

8:40pm Sun 7 Oct 12

fubsy says...

kitkat is quite right. These things should be decided behind closed doors, without every Tom, Dick and Harry, knowing what the council are doing with our money. Its this kind of blatant disregard for secrecy and clandestine behavour that leads to the kind of atrocities we got in Nazi Germany. I, for one, welcome the green party's initiative of not telling anyone what they're up to.
kitkat is quite right. These things should be decided behind closed doors, without every Tom, Dick and Harry, knowing what the council are doing with our money. Its this kind of blatant disregard for secrecy and clandestine behavour that leads to the kind of atrocities we got in Nazi Germany. I, for one, welcome the green party's initiative of not telling anyone what they're up to. fubsy

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