One of my photos

The inevitable Mark Hammond announcement

September 29th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 7 Comments · Politics

According to the County Times the county council has announced that the chief executive is ‘formally leaving the post’.  It goes on to say that the council say Mr. Hammond is leaving on ‘amicable terms’.   Everything about this is a bit vague -  necessarily, since the council leader forbade any of the councillors from talking about it.

However, since the chief exec had his union involved, at which point the secretary of ALACE was quoted as saying “The way Mark Hammond has been treated by his council is outrageous” it does sound unlikely that everything is amicable.   There has probably been an arrangement, with his diplomacy or silence one of the conditions of pissing a large chunk of our council tax up the wall to compensate him for his mistreatment.

Anyway, the use of the word ‘amicable’ is not the most inaccurate part of the short article on the website: that comes right at the end.

For the full story and reaction see the County Times- out on Thursday.

Somehow I doubt we will be getting the full story.

Tags: ··

7 Comments so far ↓

  • Colin

    Well, Skuds old chap, this is pretty much what we all predicted in the previous thread isn’t it! Lips shut, wallet full of taxpayer cash. Shame on WSCC for not telling us why (I think we’re entitled !) he’s going. Shame on Hammond for running to his union not on a point of principle but rather a better negotiation position for a fat pay off. Shame on ALACE for making a huge song and dance and then pathetically slinking off into the shadows and not following up on their assertion that employment law was being violated after the backroom deal was done. Finally shame on the press for not bothering to probe this shocking treatment of the WS taxpayer at all.

  • Richard

    And shame on the opposition parties for doing nothing, or not enough.

    As people in other European cities are out on the streets protesting about the deficit & banks, we sit on our backsides moaning on blogs !
    Well, that’s really going to shake Establishment power to the core.

    And we allow the WSCC Chairman, Mark Dunn, get away with this nonsense :

    “Mark’s departure does not in any way reflect on his conduct or capability” (‘Council chief agrees to leave’, Crawley News, Sept 29 -Page 4)

    • Colin

      It’s true Richard. Unfortunately the moaning on the blogs is the strongest expression of anger we can muster. I guess sadly we always end up with the Government we deserve at the end of the day. I have complained to the press before, with evidence of money being mis-spent, only to be totally ignored by a media which isn’t interested in questioning what’s going on. It’s so deflating. The whole policital scene, right and left is just so insipid at the moment, with a population seeming more interested in x-factor than ideas and issues. I’m working overseas at the moment and too be honest, despite being Sussex born and bred, I actually feel like having no intention of returning. :o(

      • Skuds

        Whereabout are you working? I’ve been toying with writing something about national identity, patriotism and jingoism for a little while.

        Although far from perfect, I think the local papers here are starting to be increasingly more open to proper investigating. Remarkably so, given their every-dwindling staff numbers.

        The national papers, or at least the high-circulation ones, are still keeping well away from any sort of hard news that doesn’t suit their entrenched political positions and I can’t see that changing.

        It took the New York Times’ involvement to get any media here interested in the Coulson story and even that seems to have fizzled out. The Guardian being the honourable exception.

    • Skuds

      Well there are fewer oppostiion parties now…

      There has been some activity to tie in with the European day of action, but the timing sucks – Labour was in the middle of its conference.

      Had you come along to that meeting the other week instead of going to a Crawley borough council exec meeting to ask a question about the county council you might have learned a bit about what is going on locally.

      Those lefties who were there decided that Sep 29th was too soon to organise anythgin worth doing, but will be doing something in Oct/Nov.

      In the meantime, there is mass rally and lobby of parliament on Oct 19th – the eve of the spending review. See

  • Richard

    Sad to hear Colin.

    Your mention of “X-Factor” reminded me of this :

    We are all morally intelligent, but… … he-matter/


    I once heard Noam Chomsky make a funny and somewhat prescient point during a radio show – it may also appear in his books, but I’m not sure – about American intelligence.

    He said that he firmly believed that Americans have the mental capacity to understand politics, inequality, the media, and all of the various and sundry problems of contemporary America. His evidence, he noted half-humorously, was AM radio sports talk call-in shows. He noted that people who probably cannot name their Congressman or describe what the 1st Amendment says can easily rattle off facts with amazing detail about the 1985 Bears or the batting averages of the 1961 Yankees. In other words, we are not dumb but our priorities are badly out of whack. We know a lot about things that are irrelevant and we spend our available time educating ourselves about frivolous things – sports, TV shows, celebrity gossip, and so on.

    For many years I felt like this anecdote summed up our problems quite nicely…

    Posted by Steve Logue on September 30, 2010, 12:17 am, in reply to “We Are All Morally Intelligent, But…”

    I’ve listened to him talking about this subject. It’s not just the knowledge and analytical ability of sports fans that he found impressive. It was also their confidence in their opinions. Callers would quite happily argue strategy with ‘experts’ showing no deference to authority.

    • Skuds

      Maybe I will pass on the book I am reading when I have done with it. It has some interesting bits on belief and how people trust an opinion expressed confidently over one that has had more thought put into it.

      I find the increasing trend to distrust experts a bit worrying – viz science v. homeopathy, MMR, and so on.