The CEO speaks: “Step Change” – or more cuts on the way

Our glorious leader, Croydon chief executive Jon Rouse, continues to use the council’s internal interweb to inspire and encourage his diminishing staff to ever greater levels of performance and sacrifice.

And we feel it our duty to bring to a far wider readership the latest offering from our £200,000-per-year head man, as he updates staff on his “Step Change” scheme (also known as: “Send Me Your Ideas To Cut Services, Or Volunteer To Leave”, which, we admit, might not be quite as catchy).

Step Change

I am pleased with progress on the Step Change transformation programme. There is real momentum now. I hope you’ve had a chance to look at The Loop special we’ve distributed that brings you right up to speed.

There are a number of corporate step change projects that are going to dominate over the next few months. There is the creation of the single corporate Strategy, Commissioning, Procurement and Performance team.

The consultation paper is now out and on the Intranet. There is the management layers and spans project which is identifying forensically where we have got too many layers in the structure or managers managing too few people. We are estimating that further reductions in management posts could save us another £3 million over the next couple of years.

And finally, we are embarking on stage 2 of our procurement project, saving money through how we contract for services. Our initial focus is on a number of CYPL contracts and on our agency staffing.

Step Change Exchange
I am looking for some new members for the Step Change Exchange. It’s two hours commitment every couple of months. We test ideas out on you and in return you get to know what’s going on first. I am looking for people who are creative and willing to challenge. E-mail me if you are interested.

There must be some very detailed and expensive courses that train people to be able to written so fluently in managementspeak this way.

Key phrases that stand out to us include:

“identifying forensically where we have got too many layers in the structure or managers managing too few people”: “forensically”? “layers in the structure”?

We fear that after overseeing the latest round of 200 council job cuts, there may well be plenty of instances of “managers managing too few people”.

Hence: “We are estimating that further reductions in management posts could save us another £3 million over the next couple of years”.

Of course, at this rate of cuts, there may come a time when there are no council services left for there to be any further requirement of a CEO and his “top management team” which has “efficiency in its DNA”.

If any Inside Croydon readers can identify a further, instant £200,000-plus worth of cuts to council spending, please send your answer, on postcards only, please, to: Jon Rouse, Chief Executive’s Office, 7th Floor, Taberner House, Croydon.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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2 Responses to The CEO speaks: “Step Change” – or more cuts on the way

  1. Rodolphe Mortreuil says:

    I think your view point is quite confusing. Are you suggesting that Croydon Council is already running at full efficiency? I would have understood from previous posts you made that – such as insisting on constantly mentionning the CEO’s salary – you would have been the first to rejoice at the thought of less management.

    I think there’s a difficult balance to strike between constructive criticism and just criticism. I was really interested in reading about your findings on secretive payments to private contractors for mysterious services rendered, or the surprising tribulations of the planning department, for example.

    However, it would be a shame to damage this good investigative reporting with people-bashing articles. Picking on somebody in a position of power is easy. No doubt he doesn’t get everything right, but your approach to his actions seem to imply he does nothing right. Do you truly believe this?

    • Sorry you are confused.

      The point is quite clear: amidst the worst local government cuts in 30 years, with 200 council workers, many on the minimum wage, losing their jobs, Croydon’s CEO continues to draw a massive salary, while recruiting “directors” on six-figure salaries.

      As has been said elsewhere, it should be our elected representatives who determine policy in Croydon, not Rouse, whose job is to implement that policy. Yet in his own words, he appears to be determining an additional £3 million cuts in 2012-2013.

      You might also want to consider what Prime Minister David Cameron said in Parliament today, when he praised local authority CEOs who were taking wage cuts and condemned other council chief executives of being “paid far too much”.

      Or was Call Me Dave only talking about overpaid Labour council CEOs?

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