FOLLOWING the news of the abrupt departure of Kieran Stigant, West Sussex County Council chief executive, I would like to express my appreciation of Mr Stigant’s openness and willingness to listen to the voices and concerns of the disabled and vulnerable people across West Sussex on whose behalf Don’t Cut Us Out continues to campaign; and to wish him well for the future.
Kieran Stigant was a voice of reason within the council.
We may not have seen eye to eye on many issues, but he has always been open to dialogue and discussion, which we appreciated.
That is more than can be said for Ms Goldsmith who, so far, has refused to debate these cuts with the public.
Mr Stigant is to be commended for refusing to countenance accepting his £35,000 contractual bonus last year after Don’t Cut Us Out campaigners disclosed that it would pay for the care support of 23 vulnerable people for a year.
He was a popular figure with staff at the council and his 23 years of experience working at WSCC will be sorely missed.
Kieran Stigant is the second chief executive to leave during Louise Goldsmith’s reign as WSCC leader.
In 2010, Mark Hammond was also dismissed without any consultation with councillors and was eventually awarded a £350,000 settlement after the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives said the way he had been treated was ‘outrageous’.
That sum would have paid for the care for 200 vulnerable people in West Sussex who lost all their support in the last round of cuts.
I think it is time for Ms Goldsmith to consider her position. What a terrible record for one leader to have.
Two chief executives in three years, costing the council tax-payer over half a million pounds in pay-outs – and yet services for disabled people are to be further slashed without any public debate, causing yet more massive hardship for the most vulnerable.
It’s a dreadful record and Ms Goldsmith really should reflect on that.
Chairman Don’t Cut Us Out