Cllr Richard Holmes has reacted to the SDLP’s refusal to take part in the appraisal process for the Council’s Chief Executive by branding it a gross dereliction of duty and questioned their representation of events.
“An appraisal process has been in place for the Chief Executive for some years now with the four main Group Leaders all participating in it during the last council term” the Ulster Unionist Councillor said.
“For all the great insights the SDLP seem to possess, I am not aware of concerns being raised through previous Chief Executive appraisals nor any reports to council raising such concerns.
“To claim that the current process has been thrust upon us is a strange statement considering that council in autumn 2019 adopted a proposal covering financial reporting and an updated appraisal process. The Group Leaders have discussed this throughout 2020 and council has engaged an external consultant to work on the appraisal process. Despite their remarkable degree of foresight, the SDLP decided to drop out of the appraisal process at the last minute on a Friday evening, leaving the other Group Leaders to determine whether to proceed after the process had already begun.
“The appraisal process itself involved a three-hour session with Group Leaders, consultant and the Chief Executive which followed previous work between the consultant and the Chief Executive. For the SDLP to brand this as light touch performance assessment shows a considerable lack of understanding of performance appraisals on their part. Having spent 25 years working in the private sector, I can say without a shadow of doubt that this process is anything but light touch.
“The SDLP have been at the forefront of a negative publicity campaign which has tarnished the council’s image and bowing out of their responsibilities to snipe from the side-lines is a gross dereliction of duty and far from the leadership that we need from our politicians at this time.”