business appointments diary for May failed to show up by the end of June
another Freedom of Information request went in, this time for June’s
appointments. The first unanswered request was eventually
referred to the
Information Commissioner and the second became the subject of a formal complaint
to Bexley council. Last Friday, Bexley council responded, not with a photocopy
of a few June diary pages or its electronic equivalent, but a carefully typed and
presumably edited list of activities. They include everything from complete days
away from the office to telephone calls.
There were 21 ’working’ days in June of which two were bank holidays and another four on which Mr. Tuckley took annual leave, leaving 15 days in which to earn his £19,542 a month of benefits. What did he do?
Well for three days he took himself away to the Local Government Association’s annual conference to be wined and dined at our expense and did nothing for the borough and at the other extreme three half hour telephone calls are listed, one to his own Deputy Director of Human Resources. Six hours, including a couple for travelling, were spent on NHS matters. Another six hours were spent talking to the council leader.
The longest appointments were a meeting of Chief Executives at the the Guildhall in the City (2·5 hours) and a Management Board meeting in Bexley (4 hours).
The total hours listed in the 15 days in the office was 45 of which the busiest single day was 7·5 hours of engagements. A tough month I am sure you will agree.
Presumably there would additionally be some run of the mill phone calls to answer and a few letters to read but he does have an outer office to protect him from that sort of stuff as anyone who has ever tried to contact the Chief Executive will know.
I’m not convinced of the usefulness of this diary exercise. No one stuck at a local authority desk or attending the occasional conference will ever prove he is worth a crust of that thickness, no matter how busy a diary says he may be. £234,507 a year for running a monopoly dictatorship is simply unjustifiable. If he was stuck in some Afghanistan hell hole under fire from bullets and RPGs then one might begin to understand it but - now there’s an idea. Beats pitchforks and flaming torches every time.