Cornwall Council’s Chief Executive emigrates and bails out of BT outsource / JV controversy

The Chief Executive of Cornwall County Council, Kevin Lavery, has announced that he’s leaving to take up a similar position as CEO of Wellington, New Zealand.

He has been congratulated on managing the aftermath of Cornwall’s move to a unitary authority since he joined in 2008, and helping achieve better ratings for the Council. But more recently he has become embroiled in the issues around the potential outsourcing joint venture with BT, which we’ve written about here a number of times. (See one of our latest articles here). Lavery has been a strong supporter of the JV idea, and some opponents have felt he was trying to “bounce” the councillors into accepting this option.

Anyway, it is on hold now after the Council rejected it despite strong promotion from Lavery and certain Councillors, including Alec Robertson who resigned in October as Council Leader because of the outsourcing controversy and his failure to get support from the wider council members.

The Council is now looking at a number of ideas for outsourcing / improved service delivery, of which the JV is still one option. So it will be interesting to see what Lavery’s exit does to their deliberations.

But this provides a good reminder to councillors, and others in similar positions. That executive, who tells you his or her idea is the best thing since sliced bread, is quite likely to move on before they actually have to make the great concept work.

They get the kudos on their cv as an innovative, ideas driven leader – whatever actually happens, post implementation. And too often, some other poor person has to then make the crackpot / difficult / misguided idea actually work in practice. Worth remembering...


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