Lavery off to New Zealand?

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Cornwall Council chief executive Kevin Lavery is preparing to pack his bags to New Zealand, according to reports in the country.

Kevin Lavery, chief executive at Cornwall's recently established unitary autority
Cornwall Council chief exec Kevin Lavery

The Dominion Post says that Lavery is set to become chief executive of Wellington City Council, on a salary of $420k.

While Lavery has confirmed that he has been offered the post, he insists that he has yet to make a final decision.

Labour councillor, Jude Robinson, said: “Kevin was appointed in 2008 by the Lib Dems at a huge salary with the intention of outsourcing and privatising many of Cornwall’s services.

“The Tory/Independent administration took up this policy with enthusiasm. Given the controversy over the plans for the deal with BT, we should not be surprised that he has decided to walk away.”

Lib Dem councillor, Jeremy Rowe, commented: “Kevin Lavery has done an immense amount to make the new unitary authority work. He has overseen the transition from seven councils into one and ensured that the savings were made to protect front line services. It is therefore disappointing that he should be leaving before the job is finished and at a time when the council is facing its biggest challenges yet.”

Should Lavery leave, Rowe insists that he should work his full notice period with no ‘golden goodbye’. And he added: “We will also be looking to continue to cut the overall Cornwall Council wage bill and will be asking for Kevin Lavery’s successor to be appointed on a lower salary than is the case at the moment.”