Kevin Lavery: should I stay, or should I go?

Well it is now official, Kevin Lavery has been offered the job as CEO of Wellington City Council in New Zealand. Though as yet, he has not accepted that position. So that clears up the point of whether the story being true. In a statement from Cornwall Council the CEO say’s:

“I have enjoyed my time as the Chief Executive of Cornwall Council and will be sorry to leave the authority and Cornwall” he said. “I now need to consider the terms of the offer very carefully and discuss this with my family before making a final decision”.

“I will be spending the next few days considering this offer and hope to make an announcement early next week.

So what now? That is a difficult question to answer for a few reasons. The first one is if he goes, how much time would he have (or need) to serve out before he is released from his contract as the new job starts in March 2013. There are calls for him to serve out his full notice period and no golden goodbyes. Though for the latter, I would think there would be none, as he is leaving on his terms.

However, if he does not take the job how what then? Well for me, and I am sorry to say this, but I think his position is now untenable due to him seeking employment elsewhere and that being public.  Having the most senior council officer actively seeking employment elsewhere is not good for the stability of the council. Having confidence in the CEO is a must, but more so when 2013 is likely to be a difficult period what with the harsh grant cuts from central Government. If that officer is looking elsewhere, how can we be sure we are not going to be left in the lurch if that perfect job comes along?

At least with the upcoming Christmas period people have time to reflect on what to do next. For the council it needs to decide if it wants to be replaced the CEO, as under new rules a council does not have to have one, or it could share one. After all the Isles of Scilly could soon have a vacant position as well.

I will say, Kevin is a good officer, I might not have always agreed with some of his views, like outsourcing, but he has managed to turn seven authorities into one. That is no mean feat, and that should be recognised.



  • Well said Andrew….I am in totally Agreement!

  • Frances Oliver

    So much for ” I am in it for the long haul with you” He
    wouldn’t have applied for a job so far away if he didnt want it.
    Left us all to pick up the pieces and replace the wheel.

  • A N Other Worker.

    The song for Kev is Tommy Twang singing “Go Now”. Just do it Kev, you know you want to, and we do too.

  • worried worker

    Andrew, seeing as a good number of actual Council employees
    have taken a vast dislike to Kevin, maybe you could point out a few
    of the positives he has achieved during his time with

  • A benefits assessor

    Wallis for CEO. Will they call his replacement “Lavery
    light”. ?

  • Toni Mills

    For me, you let him go as soon as is mutually agreeable,
    giving time for a hand-over to someone inside to fill the role
    temporarily; you advertise the role in a few months to enable the
    selection process to occur after the elections in May so that the
    new council gets someone they can work with wholeheartedly; you
    give the new post holder a four year contract so that the council
    elected in 2017 can have the same opportunity.

  • When you can take breath from praising Mr Lavery, please look at the Cornwall CC document, ‘Technical paper W1. An assessment of the future waste arisings in Conwall up to 2031. Cornwall Council. January 2012’.
    Then investigate whether Mr Lavery possibly exerted pressure on the officer who wrote the report, to seemingly ‘forget’ to mention that in ‘National Waste Strategy 2007, (Chapter 8. Implementation and measuring success. Key new targets and actions)’ the following statement appears,
    [The Government will be] setting national targets for re-use, recycling and composting of household waste [of] at least 40% by 2010, 45% by 2015, and 50% by 2020′.
    Note,the phrase, ‘at least’.
    I believe that my own Council, (East Riding of Yorkshire), boasts that it has attained a target of 60%, and can achieve 70%.
    If the officer had indicated the, ‘at least’, perhaps the Council would, by now, have achieved the 2010 Government target, (I believe that in 2010/11 their % was even lower than in 2008/09); and,
    perhaps they would be considering whether trying recycling etc might get them out of the hole of, (what I believe may be a £one-third billion), incinerator.

  • JMP

    Kevin Lavery or not, Cornwall will never achieve a decent
    recycling rate percentage all the time people refuse to recycle
    anything because of the ridiculous method of collection. Try
    blaming the relevant portfolio holder responsible. You can’t
    recycle everything, Cornwall still needs an incinerator. What is
    your method of collection for recycling products in East Yorkshire
    ? we have three different coloured bags that blow away in the wind
    despite being weighted plus a large plastic box that when full of
    glass elderly people cannot lift. Nowhere to store all these
    various containers, some people just will not/cannot recycle. You
    cannot blame Kevin Lavery for this.

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