Login Register

Boss of Cornwall Council Kevin Lavery to take up new job in New Zealand

By WBBev  |  Posted: December 24, 2012

Comments (0)

CORNWALL Council's chief executive is leaving the authority for a new post in New Zealand. Announcing he had formally accepted the role as chief executive of Wellington City Council, Kevin Lavery, said he would be leaving towards the end of March.

He said: "When I was appointed in November 2008, the new unitary council was facing a number of challenges. I said then that I wanted to build a distinctive council that reflected Cornwall's proud heritage and culture. A Council that was delivering high quality services and great value for money and which was meeting the needs of local residents.

"Four years later I am proud to say that, despite the additional challenges created by the financial situation, we are well on the way to achieving this aim and I am confident that we have the right foundations in place to create a bright future for the Council and for Cornwall."

Jim Currie, who was appointed leader of Cornwall Council after the privatisation row that ousted his predecessor Alec Robertson, said : "He is a towering figure who has not been afraid to make difficult decisions.  However, while he will undoubtedly be missed, he has left behind a strong management team and an experienced and knowledgeable set of elected members."

Councillors have expressed concern over the possibility of a "golden goodbye" for Mr Lavery - with memories still lingering of the estimated £500,000 pay-off for the previous Cornwall County Council boss, Sheila Healy.

The terms of the offer, according to New Zealand's Dominion Post newspaper, include a salary of $420,000 NZ dollars - worth approximately £215,000 a year.

Jeremy Rowe, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at County Hall, said : "Liberal Democrats will be seeking to ensure that there is a smooth transition to his replacement and we will be expecting Mr Lavery to work out his full notice period with no golden goodbye."

He added that the council should look at the merits of doing-away with the chief executives role to cut costs as suggested by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Rob Nolan (Lib Dem), Cornwall Council member for Truro Boscawen, backed Mr Pickle's suggestion saying: "It makes sense to me and would save £240,000 a year."

However, Mr Rowe believed it should stay, saying: "It would be foolish not to look at that route, but as a large unitary authority I think it needs a chief executive. In the past three and half years there has been a great deal of political volatility and if there is a vacuum in the political arm we need a leader on the permanent staff."


Read more from West Briton

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters
  • twofeetofsnow  |  December 26 2012, 12:59PM

    Could we actually have a Cornish CEO this time, someone with their roots in the county who is interested in the community rather than the size of their salary? West Cornwall has almost disappeared under this unitary council, the money seems to go to Falmouth and Truro rather than spreading equally across the area, I don't remember Gilbert and Sullivan writing about the Pirates of Falmouth yet under this unitary council Penzance has all but been forgotten. All I can say is good luck Wellington New Zealand.

    Rate 0
  • yveyk  |  December 26 2012, 12:29PM

    No one is looking after the best interests of Cornwall only thier own. Cornwall council is an out of date, way behind the times group of councillors that need a bit of a shakeup. We need someone in charge that understands the needs of businesses and not the needs of the councillors. We need less solar farms eating up the land, more windmills, less NIMBYs and more people trying to enrich the economy instead of trying to preserve the history. All counties have to evolve with the times, this means we need to encourage farmers to be more productive in food instead of someone lining their pockets just to put up acres of solar panels. Who voted for Cormac to take over our infrastructure? We need a proper plan to repair roads, now totally undermined by rain and flooding instead of all the stupid traffic calming and signage proposals they keep advertising. Cornwall is a shambles - I'd love to come and sort it out and I'd charge about £50,000 per year, but I'd be very unpopular because I'd make it pay its way instead of letting others cream it off the top!

    Rate   4
  • josdave  |  December 24 2012, 6:36PM

    As he is walking into another very well paid post there should be no handout at all but I won't hold my breath. Another pig will come to the trough and our stupid council will offer another salary not warranmted by the job.

    Rate   12
  • IBM_Out  |  December 24 2012, 6:15PM

    The CEO post in Wellington, NZ was said to have been advertised back in August, so was Lavery always planning to "SIGN & GO?" Can Cornwall Councillors trust that Lavery's BT Fat JV was ever a good deal, when the CEO leading the charge into this controversial outsourcing deal, was someone who had no intention of having to live with the consequences….? Mind you – Look on the bright side – Lavery's Fat JV project has just created it's first new job in Cornwall…..HIS!

    Rate   13
  • Cknocker  |  December 24 2012, 4:43PM

    Great news that this guy is going! That said I don't agree with the sentiment of not needing a CEO, the moment you leave elected councillors in total control, you will end up with a very short sighted council. What I didn't like about this guy is that he failed to understand that he was part of a council not a private business (Thats down to whoever appointed him) and as such ended with the outward appearance that all policy direction was coming from the CEO not the Elected Council. I think the council need to get out of their heads the notion that they are a multi million pound plc - they are not, they are a public service and as such such a corporate man from a multi million pound plc who is used to being in charge is not the man. You need someone who understands local government and prepared to be the executive of the elected council - not the director. Somebody who can advise the council of the impact of their decisions with impartiality, without pushing their own ideolgies - if they want to do that they need to get their name on a ballot paper. I think you are probably looking at a maximum salary of around £100,000 for this sort of function.

    Rate   17
  • JeremyBadger  |  December 24 2012, 3:27PM

    Absolutely Fantastic News! Now our spendthrift council have the opportunity to save over £250,000 at a stroke................but I bet they don't!

    Rate   8
  • Trecurnow  |  December 24 2012, 1:42PM

    I'd suggest Bert Biscoe. He knows his way round after 30 years as a councillor. He lives round the corner from the "big house". He'd probably manage on £200thousand less than the present incumbent and he is well qualified to look after the best interests of Cornwall.

    Rate   -3