Cardiff council leader Heather Joyce to hire £80,000 policy advisor

March 21, 2013 7 Comments »
Leader of Cardiff Council Heather Joyce has advertised for an £80,000 a year policy advisor.

Leader of Cardiff Council Heather Joyce has advertised for an £80,000 a year policy advisor.

Cardiff council leader Heather Joyce is to have an £80,000-a-year adviser to help shape policy and lead the authority’s public relations strategy.

Cardiff council took out an advertisement in The Sunday Times at weekend – believed to have cost about £6,000 – for the newly created position of “head of cabinet office”.

Opposition councillors yesterday said it was “obscene” to spend £80,000 on an adviser when the Labour-run council last month agreed £22m in budget cuts, including the loss of more than 300 jobs.

As an adviser to Coun Joyce, they will shape policy “that will secure the best possible outcomes for Cardiff” and lead the council’s communications and media team.

Councillor Judith Woodman, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “This is obscene. To spend £80,000 for someone to advise Heather Joyce beggars belief.

“Just think how many services this money would have protected and jobs saved. It could have stopped the distress many have suffered as a result of Labour’s savage budget cuts.”

But local government consultant Jeff Jones, a former Labour leader of Bridgend council, said council leaders were not provided with the support to deliver their vision, adding that a good adviser would be “worth their weight in gold”.

“The future is for politicians to take more of a lead and for chief executives to become more of a manager. If you want that to happen then politicians need to have good advice – and that has to be political advice as well,” he said.

“At too many local authorities there is nobody actually questioning what the officers are saying. The difference in Cardiff is that you have some politicians with a vision.

“Cardiff is fortunate in having one of the leading politicians in local government – and that guy is Russell Goodway (cabinet member for finance).

Whatever you think of him, he has got a view of the world and the ability to put that into practice.”

Mr Jones described Coun Joyce as a “good appointment”, saying she was someone who “understands what ordinary Cardiff people want because she is in an ordinary Cardiff person”.

The appointment is part of a management restructure that will see the number of top-tier directors increase from 17 to 23. The shake-up adds £1.1m to the wage bill, but Labour insists it will be “cost neutral” by cutting spending on management consultants.

Labour group secretary Keith Jones said: “It is vital that Cardiff citizens know that their elected representatives have the appropriate support as they make key decisions on public services. Cardiff council is an organisation with a £1bn turnover and 18,000 employees delivering over 700 individual services.

“The head of cabinet office is part of a new management structure that marks an end of the culture of consultancy that existed within the last administration.”

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7 Comments

  1. William Wheeler March 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    If that is the case, why do we need a Council Leader? It smacks of jobs for the boys again. With all these advisers, why do we need Councillors at all.

  2. JVR March 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Typical Labour party shenanigans once again. Creating non-jobs just so someone else can go onto the payroll. Disgusting considering the cuts agreed to this month. Well, I have a clear conscience as I didn't vote for these "people" in the first place. Bring on 2017.

  3. HEATHERMAYNE March 23, 2013 at 10:52 am - Reply

    mrs heather joyce why are you doing this you could have spent it the area that you live in LLANRUMNEY and you would like us to vote for you again NO NEVER

  4. @LazyMonkIE March 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all use tax payers money to hire someone else to do our jobs for us and still get our full pay!

    This is utterly disgraceful. Heather Joyce receives a special allowance of approximately £40,000 as Leader of Cardiff Council and she wants to use £80,000 more tax payers money to hire someone else to do her job for her.

    I hope she will do the right thing and decide not to collect this extra allowance seeing as she's handing the reigns over to an advisor and that money can go towards paying their wage!

  5. bigbadbill March 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Why not just give Russell the 80k. He's the actual leader of this corrupt council Heather Joyce is only a figurehead… Maybe that's why she feels the need to have an adviser as she cannot lead on her own merit

  6. Cardiff Resident March 26, 2013 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Disgusting. An admission that she cannot do her job. The previous leader had no need of this. Embarrassing.

  7. bigbadbill March 30, 2013 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Strange how thislabour controlled council has the audacity to say it's getting rid of consultants to save £3m then create new directors on £120k a piece , now an adviser to "The Leader" of the council at a further cost of £80k ….beggars belief when many staff have lost thousands in wages due to re-evaluation of their jobs and in some cases being made to apply for their own jobs and indeed being made redundant. Typical Labour…. A joke

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