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Broken Barnet: "Mrs Angry tries her best to disturb the composure of Mr Travers and Cllr Cornelius"

Link to Broken Barnet

Question from Mrs Angry: "In view of the unprecedented level of criticism levelled at the standard of governance and legal services in this authority, does the Chief Executive still retain the full confidence of the Chair, and the Conservative administration, and if not, have they asked for his resignation, or has he offered to resign?"

A: "Yes"

"Oh dear. Rather short on information, wasn't it?

"Mrs Angry took her place at the table.

"She confessed herself to be rather astonished by the fact that the Chief Executive - no offence, Mr Travers, she murmured, soothingly, in his direction, in case his feelings were hurt -that the Chief Executive still enjoyed the full confidence of Councillor Cornelius. 

"What would happen if, say, it was discovered that the caretakers of the Town Hall had, since April 2013 or thereabouts, been in the habit of leaving the doors and windows of the building unlocked, and open to intruders, every night (which they would not, and here Mrs Angry must take the opportunity to say how very polite and conscientious they are). Would they not be instantly dismissed?

"And yet: here we were, with a Chief Executive who had allowed the authority to proceed without the protection of an adequate legal service, or rule of governance, and still he retained his job, and the support of the Tory leader. And despite the fact that, as the response to Q 35 makes clear:
"As Head of paid Service, the Chief Executive is ultimately responsible for all officer activity."
"He is surely responsible, ultimately responsible, for all serious failures by those officers, therefore, and yet ... Maryellen Salter carries the can, and the more senior officer, who has a legal duty to ensure compliance with all statutory requirements, goes scot free. 


"Cornelius made one of his pained faces, the one that looks as if he might be suffering from prolonged constipation, but usually signifies a determination to avoid answering an awkward question. 

"In this instance, he decided to go further than merely avoiding a response, and produced an observation which was quite breathtaking in its display of indifference to the significance of Ms Lloyd-Jones' findings: 

" 'Mistakes will happen,' he said, shrugging his shoulders."

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