The honorary secretary of the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives says it is a false economy removing the post of chief executive from West Sussex County Council.
The 49 year old former chief executive of Waverley Borough Council in Surrey added: “There does seem to be amongst Conservatives, and particularly amongst leaders who have been in position a little while, that they seem to think they can do it all themselves without professional managerial leadership.
“There is no substitute long term for strong professional leadership to complement political skills.
“Politicians and good managers are not the same thing.
“Politicians do not have anything like the same professional background or training, particularly in times of economical difficulty.”
In 2011, Mrs Pett accused WSCC leader Louise Goldsmith of ‘outrageous’ behaviour when she attempted to sack the council’s former chief executive, Mark Hammond.
Following the intervention of the Association of Local Chief Executives it was agreed Mr Hammond would go on long term leave and one month later Kieran Stigant took up the post.
Now, after serving with the council since 1991, Mr Stigant will leave with a £118,000 redundancy package, and the £175,000 role of chief executive will be dissolved, and an interim Transformation Director appointed, as well as a temporary Chief Operating Officer.
It is proposed the two new positions will share the current responsibilities of the former chief executive.
On February 14 the full council will be asked to confirm the removal of the post of chief executive - two weeks after Mr Stigant stands down.
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