I write to give vent to the increasing frustration which I and many others in Chichester and beyond feel about the seemingly complete lack of due transparency shown by West Sussex County Council with regard to their former chief executive Nathan Elvery’s recent departure.
The shocking waste of taxpayers’ money by the leadership of the council is equally galling.
There is widespread and justifiable anger in West Sussex about the costs incurred in relation to Elvery’s ‘standing down’, especially at a time when many of our public services are suffering badly from lack of funds. I believe the following eye-watering sums were involved:
- £27,000 to a head-hunting firm to find Elvery in the first place
- £24,346 for a new office for him, never used
- £47,500 to relocate, despite Elvery never having moved his family home
- £35,000 legal fees to help expedite his departure
- £265,000 pay-off
- £30,000 paid to Elvery while he was suspended for two months
I have been informed that all council members have been told not to talk about this issue as they would be in breach of a non-disclosure agreement. If this is indeed so, we must surely ask: what can be done, as soon as possible, to restore all due and requisite democratic accountability at the heart of the county council?
Dr Michael Tucker