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SALFORD COUNCIL CHIEF EXEC BARBARA SPICER SET TO LEAVE
 

Star date: 3rd October 2013

A Salford Star Exclusive

BARBARA SPICER SET TO LEAVE SALFORD COUNCIL

The Salford Star understands that Salford City Council's £200,000 a year Chief Executive, Barbara Spicer, is set to leave the Council. As rumours were flying around both Salford and Manchester councils this afternoon, two separate well placed sources were adamant that Spicer's job will soon be redundant.

Meanwhile, neither Salford City Council nor Barbara Spicer's office would deny the story, despite the Salford Star giving them numerous opportunities during the day.

Full details here…


Salford Council's Chief Executive, Barbara Spicer, is set to leave Salford Council, the Salford Star understands.

Spicer, who pulled in a total salary package of £208,083 during the last financial year (inc election payments, pension etc see here), has been Chief Exec at Salford Council since 2006, following a brief stint as Chief Executive at Knowsley Council.

During her time in Salford she has overseen the MediaCityUK development that has produced few BBC jobs for Salford people and was central to the financial disasters surrounding Salford City Reds and The Willows.

Spicer has also overseen regeneration projects that have left grass crofts peppering Central Salford where affordable housing used to be. Many residents have told the Salford Star that "the heart has been ripped out of Salford" during her tenure, a period that has also seen many regeneration areas re-branded as Manchester (see here).

In April 2011, Spicer compared her relationship to Manchester City Council's Chief Executive Howard Bernstein, as like that between mother and daughter…

"It's a little like you'd say 'Mum, what do you think about this?'...In terms of developing the core of the conurbation, we take a very singular view and that is one of the things that we will look at in the round: we discuss which sites we are going to bring forward." (see here)

Barbara Spicer also failed to adequately manage safeguarding of children in the city, the Salford Star believed, as it called for her resignation in 2010 (see here), and has led the team that has made around £80million worth of cuts over the last few years.

If the speculation about Barbara Spicer is true – and nobody has denied the story – Salford's Chief Exec will be the second Fat Cat to leave the Council in a matter of months, following £134,000 a year Martin Vickers' resignation (and subsequent re-birth at Salford Red Devils) in August which Salford Council also refused to confirm or deny at the time (see here and see here).

Barbara Spicer will be in line for a huge pay-off, the Salford Star understands, that will dwarf Martin Vickers' reported £78,000 golden handshake…

Update 4th October 2013

Mayor Ian Stewart response to Barbara Spicer's resignation - click here                           
Ex Lib Dem wrote
at 06:32:11 on 05 October 2013
@bobb actually lean more towards UKIP do no, not looking for a ROLE. Maybe learn to spell before bleating?
 
unbeliveable wrote
at 16:58:07 on 04 October 2013
And now the people of Salford have no hope, directors, AD's, managers and officers knowledge and advice already disregarded for the Mayor's own political gain, this will only get worse with Barbara gone. The issue isn't why has this taken so long, the issue is how can a politician elected to act as Mayor be qualified to strategically lead a council? This will end in tears.
 
bobb wrote
at 15:40:53 on 04 October 2013
Ex Lib Dem I guess your a labour supporter now, so arse licking to get a post on the council or some other roll ?
 
Who do you think you are? wrote
at 12:28:12 on 04 October 2013
Are they giving her a wheel barrow to take away her pay off? I cannot wait to read her book about the NDC regeneration, "How to spend 53 million and have fuck all to show for it" I think I,ll leave the last word to the Spicer girls. "The race is on to get out of the bottom, The top is so high so your roots are forgotten, Giving is good as long as you're getting, What's driving you is ambition and betting I said Who...do you think you are? (Do you think you are?) I said Who...some kind of superstar"
 
Ex Lib Dem wrote
at 12:28:07 on 04 October 2013
@Mary, when we got an elected Mayor, I was one of the first to start lobbying for him to get rid of the CEO, as he had taken all executive powers and her job was redundant.....in hindsight I believe I was wrong. He was (still is depending on who you talk to) wet behind the ears, and though he was an MP, did not have the experience to run such a huge budget. I believe that he kept her on so that he could learn how the council runs and how it operates, not just in Salford, but in the greater region, as her role spread out across GM. Maybe the time is right, he is taking on more of her role, and she is now truly redundant. I hate to think what would have happened to the city if she had been sacked when he got elected. We are in tough tough times, and believe that we needed her for this long. I just hope that I am right, and the mayor does actually know what hes doing now!
 
simon r wrote
at 11:28:30 on 04 October 2013
I take it she will be leaving in 2 weeks. Thats when the Bin men collect the rubbish
 
wrote
at 11:28:25 on 04 October 2013
If true, all I can say is hurray! At last the deadwood is being cut away......a leaner, cleaner cost effective council administration is what is needed to restore faith in Salford.gov. One down, but still many, many more to go!
 
Ex Lib Dem wrote
at 11:28:09 on 04 October 2013
@Mark I completely agree. When you compare her salary to others who have control of a fraction of that budget, you can see that, yes they are paid a huge amount compared to most of us, but that is the situation we are in. In my opinion we may see a change now. If the mayor decides to employ someone with skill, talent and experience to ASSIST him in his role...considering he has full executive power....on a similar salary to his own, maybe other councils will see this as a way forward? I dont understand why people bay for the blood of council execs and councillors?? Who do they think runs this council? It doesnt run itself and we would be in a far worse state if they had their way and got rid of the lot of them! It is up to the PEOPLE to make changes. They decide who they want as their councillor, so they should ensure that their councillor does their job properly and part of that job is to ensure both the council is run properly and council officers are doing their jobs too. Fact is, it seems people are only interested in baying for blood on here, and not recognising hard work. I arent always happy with the council or its councillors, but they know about it when I request meetings to discuss issues. I get off my butt and do something about it.
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 11:26:34 on 04 October 2013
Mark, have you been at the Bostick or something?
 
Ted wrote
at 11:26:18 on 04 October 2013
GOOD RIDDANCE . Spicer deserves no rip-off golden handshake pay-out with taxpayers money . Mayor Greedy and his Greedy Gang should dig deeply into their own bulging pockets to fund this additional wastage .
 
Arnold Rimmer wrote
at 11:25:54 on 04 October 2013
This article should be used in universities as a prime example of biased journalism. Not a single positive point in the entire article.
 
godlovesatrier wrote
at 09:57:40 on 04 October 2013
People. This is a good move. Do not get carried away with rhetoric and moans, although valid, about the past.
 
Mark wrote
at 09:23:37 on 04 October 2013
What an extraordinary assault on the record of achievement of a talented woman who has transformed the status, effectiveness and success of Salford. Far from your characterisation, Barbara supported talented members like John Merry to get a grip on child protection and improvement of children's services; and tackled under performance at every level. I too find some public sector salaries and outrage - £350k for an HR Director at the BBC for example; but for a top notch chief executive of a £1bn organisation with the range of services, challenges and functions of Salford, frankly it is not much. Time to get real and recognise the value of talented public servants.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 08:34:28 on 04 October 2013
Please note: We're having to block loads of comments because of potentially libellous statements and really nasty language. Anything about corruption, robbers etc will not be posted unless it can be substantiated - in which case we will scream it from Salford's rooftops. Thanks.
 
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 07:44:59 on 04 October 2013
Spicer going marvellous/Now what about some of these other high flying Fat Cats on mega Wages?/And do’s Salford need 70Cllrs Plus Lead Cllrs.Their seems to be more Big Chiefs than Indians/When you have to make cuts just to Appease this useless government./Cut fairly.We need Schools Houses Clinics We don't need so many advisors.
 
alan tunnacliffe wrote
at 06:48:14 on 04 October 2013
i wonder how much its cost the council for the talentless services of spicer this money could have been better spent wouldnt it be refreshing for the mayor to come out and say we dropped a bollock in ever employing somebody at such exhorbatant rates but somehow i doubt it
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 06:48:08 on 04 October 2013
If this is true and knowing our Mr Kingston I am sure it is. I feel this council will need to explain to the people of this city, why it has taken over TWO years to realise we can't afford her and the Mayor. I thought when we got the Mayor Ms Spicer was gone, but for what ever reason that never happened. So I feel the people of Salford need to be told why the Council NOW feel the post this woman has held for some years,at a great cost to this city,is no longer needed and they can manage very nicely withour her. Question, if she goes will she take all her mates back to Liverpool and give the jobs to Salford folk
 
Stuart McCance wrote
at 22:30:56 on 03 October 2013
The CEO salary for Salford City is obscene. Add to that the fact that this woman firmly believes she is in Manchester then I say good riddance providing that Salford's new CEO is paid a salary commensurate with a job that most people with 2 GCSEs could do as well or even better than the predecessor.
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 22:30:52 on 03 October 2013
Excellent to see our elected Mayor is getting The Boat shipshape and in such a short space of time. Let us wish Mayor Stewart good fortune in taking control from his desk. I trust all our Councillors will rally around Ian and give him the support he will need to do all the high executive decisions.
 
Val McGrory wrote
at 20:28:01 on 03 October 2013
I was staggered to read of this woman's salary.. when all around us jobs are scarce, people struggling on a daily basis. It's about time public servants were just that! public servants. Ivory towers syndrome, and I speak from experience as an ex-Bury Councillor. The sooner these leeches who seem wholly unaccountable for their failures depart the City, the better. she is no more empathetic with Salford and it's people than the man in the moon. Salford just doesn't consist of the Quays in case she has forgotten.... incidentally I no longer live in Salford, but feel for those who do and are exploited.
 
joe o'neill wrote
at 20:27:58 on 03 October 2013
Wow has Mayor Stewart suddenly realised that he and Barbara both can't run the city and take such high salaries in the austerity mode created by the Tories. Good riddance. Perhaps the fear of losing seats in MAY is Getting to Labour at last.
 
jeffy wrote
at 19:49:07 on 03 October 2013
Good riddance. Spicer's job has been untenable for years .
 
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