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Would Andrea Hill’s training bills have been better spend on lollipop patrols?

The fact that Andrea Hill feels she needs leadership training at £525 plus VAT a session, suggests she is not as secure as she would like us to think.

The Daily Mail reveals that she has had 23 coaching sessions with a “change guru” costing taxpayers £12,075. Add to that quite a few hours of her time which must cost several thousand pounds as her pay and pensions package is worth more than £5,000 a week.

We should be asking the councillors who voted for her appointment in 2008 (voting record) whether she really met their person specification. The first paragraph is: “Ability to provide visible and supportive leadership, empowering, enabling, motivating and developing others, fostering a positive organisational environment that shows tolerance and respect for a variety of communities and cultures.” Did those councillors realise they were taking on someone who would require expensive training? The full spec is a A Riverside View blog.

Jeremy Pembroke, now council leader, was one of those who voted for Ms Hill (Labour and Lib Dems voted solidly against) and he has also been getting training from Mr Davidson.

From a council that insists if is efficient, we really do need evidence that this money was well spent. Until that is provided difficult to see what difference it has made. At the moment we are entitled to believe it would have been better spend on lollipop patrols.

Perhaps the most worrying thing is that she did not realise the cost of her training would eventually become public, or did not care.

Saturday, March 5: Caroline Page, also writing yesterday, made the point about lollipop patrols rather better than I did. She says the money spent on training Ms Hill would pay Terry King, who sees Woodbridge children across the road, for seven year.



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  1. trish says

    Andrea Hill has a certain penchant for expensive training. At least on this occasion we can assume that the Council had the decency and common sense to pay for the training out of its own budget.

    On the 26 May 2009 Andrea Hill flew to the USA to attend a week long course in Boston paid for by BT. Between 13 and 21 November she was again in the USA this time in San Francisco on the second leg of a the training course that promotes itself under the title of “BT Vital Vision.”

    Attendance at these courses was recorded in the Gifts and hospitality register of Suffolk County Council on 10 May 2010. (Note the dates). Prior to May 2010 the trips had been kept secret. The cost is recorded in the register as “cost unknown”. A quick look on the internet will reveal that public sector bodies that had the good sense to pay for the courses record that these courses cost over £10k a shot. It is not surprising that the course is recorded albeit rather belately in the hospitality register. The typical itinerary reads as follows:
    Monday – Dinner at Hampshire House
    Tuesday – Dinner at Lucca Restaurant. Tuesday PM – free time in Boston
    Wednesday – Theatre visit to The Blue Man Group
    Etc etc

    Subjects for discussion will be familiar to all those who have studied the New Strategic Direction. Quoting from the blurb typical subjects include:
    “Leadership in times of change
    Creative ideas that have a big impact
    Workshop on citizens values”.

    Why did BT stump up for these courses/hospitality? There will be a number of reasons but it would not be unreasonable to assume that they wanted to influence key decision makers in the public sector.

    As your readers know CSD supplies the back office functions such as HR, Finance, call centres and ICT to Suffolk CC and MSDC. This is expenditure that SCC finds exceedingly difficult to control.

    BT owns over 80% of the shares in CSD joint venture.