He has been the leader of the council for 15 years. During that
time the council’s has acquired a national profile and come to
dominate the region. The first to embrace out sourcing. The first to
agree a major contract to outsource all back office services. The
leader has a reputation as a canny negotiator and a ruthless political
manipulator. Which has not always endeared him to partner agencies.
This was supposed to be the year he handed over to his ambitious deputy.
A health scare appeared to bring the transfer of power forward
but there were members of the board and the party who felt this was
the time for a new more inclusive style of leadership. Members were
divided not everyone supported an automatic coronation, two maybe
three alternative candidates had “ reluctantly “ been persuaded to
allow themselves to be put forward. Things threatened to get very
unpleasant, business partners and other agencies were picking up on
the discord. The timing was bad with a big contract up for renewal and
the budget process at a critical stage. It was agreed that in the
short term the deputy had to act up in order to reassure partners that
it was business as usual.
At this point the treasure asked for a one to one. The authority
had serious financial problems that the leader has kept from the
cabinet. A series of short term fixes plus some accountancy smoke and
mirrors had covered up a massive budget hole. To compound the problems
the outsourcing contracts which were to generate millions in
efficiency saving have not. To make matters worse it was now clear
that to end the contracts early would involve some very large penalty
The deputy confronts the leader. He is unrepentant.
To be continued