I thought it would be useful to share some notes on this today as no doubt in the future some people may try to cloud the issue.
1) The Chief Executive was appointed within this authority in 2009 when the City Independents and the Tories were running the council. It is they that set the salary at £200,000+ NOT Labour.
2) The relationship between Dave Conway and the chief executive broke down and not surprisingly as Dave Conway is trying to take the authority backwards and is very chaotic in the way he does things.
3) John van de Laarschot did not voluntarily go from this authority as is being claimed by Dave Conway, he was left with no choice.
4) Dave Conway and his Tory allies adopted a chaotic process to get rid of the chief executive. They were then faced with a potential legal challenge through an employment tribunal for constructive or unfair dismissal. To avoid being shown up as incompetent they agreed to a massive payout for the chief executive.
5) They claim the payout is around £230,000 but the figure is a lot higher. They need to come clean and tell the people of Stoke-on-Trent the total cost of doing this. They cannot be allowed to mislead the public in this manner.
6) If they adopted a proper and well thought through process they would only have to pay about £90,000 because the government cap on senior officer pay outs would have come into effect from April 2016.
7) Dave Conway and the City Independents made an election pledge to put an end to the pay outs for senior officers. They have broken this promise and have paid out huge sums of money to the chief executive through their own incompetence and they are not being open and transparent on the final figure.
8) Dave Conway was all against the use of consultants in the authority prior to the election BUT he used HR consultants (he called them specialists) to get advice in this particular case as he completely cocked up the process.
9) On Radio Stoke this morning Dave Conway said that from now on the buck stops with him. He is apparently even responsible for the actions of officers. Well let's hold him to account on this and watch him back track.
10) There is a lot of instability within this council now and this is not good for the long term future of the organisation or the city as a whole. I am extremely concerned for our city and its residents.