THE SALFORD STAR MARY BURNS AWARDS 2013
Category: The `Exit Stage Left' Award
Winner: Salford City Council Chief Executive, Barbara Spicer
Did she quit or was she pushed? Was their a tiff with Mayor Ian Stewart or wasn't there? Do we care? Not really. But when Salford Star broke the exclusive story of Salford City Council Chief Executive Barbara Spicer `resigning' at the beginning of October (see here) it certainly shocked many, as the former bomb-proof, £208,000 a year fat cat fell on her sword (or somebody else's)…
In a glowering tribute, the Salford Star wrote…
`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.
`…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, and has led the team that has made around £80million worth of cuts over the last few years…'
With that kind of reference Spicer was bound to walk into another job very soon, and, sure enough she re-appeared a few weeks ago as interim head of the Skills Funding Agency, looking after the future of our kids (see here). Nice work if you can get it, especially when you still haven't even spent your secret pay-off from Salford Council yet!
Back in October, when she quit, Babs wrote to her staff with a letter explaining her departure. As a tribute to her reign, one of her workers re-designed the missive…
Dear Salford Council
It is just one million and four hundred thousand pounds since I applied for the Chief Executive's job at Salford and, having been unlucky enough to start working with you all very shortly afterwards, I began one of the most financially scrumptious and plum jobs in my career.
However, all things in life are expensive in one way or another and I now genuinely feel the time is right to take a redundancy payment with no notice period and hand the complete fiasco over to somebody else.
In that context there are just a few things that I wanted to say to you specifically as the mugs you are.
I am a public servant by choice and have a whacking great salary; I both support and seek the democratic mandate of locally elected politicians. Before I arrived in Salford I was acutely aware of the salary that was being offered.
I immediately faced the challenge of spending my cash, and not at the Lowry Centre either. My time here has cost you tonnes of dosh.
However, as some of you will know, when I arrived I also thought that I would get a better office than any `elected mayor' might get. How wrong I was. He gets two windows and three `assistant mayors' when all I get is a shag-pile carpet and a gold-plated pen.
I would like to think that as politicians you have spent all that money without ever having the gumption to question how many holidays I have been on, how my Ask Barbara page hasn't been updated since December 2012, and what I have actually been doing (except dying my hair).
Thank you (for the dough).
Ladies and gentlemen, it was a tough choice between Babs and former Strategic Director Martin Vickers, who left his job with a huge pay-off and popped up at Salford Reds weeks later smirking on tv. Perhaps he'll get his own award.
But in the meantime, dry yer tears and wave yer hankies for the second winner of this year's Mary Burns Awards…
The `Exit Stage Left' Award goes to…
B-a-a-ar-b-a-ra-a-a Sp-i-i-i-c-e-r !!!
If Babs would like to make an acceptance speech, please use the comment box below…
This year's winners…
The `Gimme That Crown' Award – Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart – click here
The Excellence In Wrecking Salford Award - Peel Holdings - click here
Bum of the Year Award - Hazel Blears - click here
The Something Stinks In Salford Award - Martin Vickers - click here
Rent-a-Crowd of the Year Award - Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart - click here
The Ashley Jensen Award for Exposing Political Extremism- Councillor Gena Merrett - click here
Eccellense In Speling Award – Greater Manchester Police – click here
Interest Free Loans, But Not For Us, Award – Salford Council – click here
Trashing Salford Again You Scuzzy Fat Cat Loving, Poor People Hating, Northern Wrecking, Back Pocket Lining Arseholes Award - click here
Twit on Twitter Award - Salford Mayor Ian Stewart - click here
* Graphic by Anya K