Ring out the old: Ring in the New
Way back in March 2006, we recorded that Fylde had decided to fast-track the appointment of a new Chief
Executive using an internal selection process.
Although at that time, it was still subject to formal interviews, the former Executive Directors: Philip Woodward, and David Joy were expected be appointed Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive respectively. Which they subsequently were.
At the time, we said Fylde was using an internal appointment because John Prescott's plan to regionalise everything had made everyone think Fylde was doomed, and it would probably be replaced by a new authority of much bigger size which the Government was to
announce shortly. Change was afoot nationally with Prescott's regionalisation agenda.
Conventional wisdom says that at such a time, people are reluctant to move to a new post until their local prospects are more clear, so filling vacancies with external candidates might have proved difficult.
But equally, the downside of being an interviewer in these circumstances is you tend to be less careful about who you choose if you think the organisation is going to be taken over, so the selection process can be less rigorous that it
might otherwise be. We've seen that happen more than once at Fylde.
We noted back in 2006 that the 'dynamic duo' of Woodward and Joy had been closely tied-in to the discredited previous setup with Ken Lee, and they would need to be seen wearing different colours in order to survive in the future.
We thought this might mean them becoming closer to the (former) Commissar, and this would tighten his grip on the officer class. We predicted they might find it difficult to remain sufficiently separate from his identity and this risked not working
impartially in the service of all councillors.
Recently, Mr Woodward's departure via early retirement, was announced, and Cllr David Eaves paid a glowing tribute to him at his last Council meeting recently.
Technically Mr Woodward finishes work at the end of December 2011, and the new CE takes over from 1 January 2012, but because of holiday and so on, Mr Woodward's 'last day' was on 16 December where we understand he had some nibbles and a drink for
friends and colleagues. (And no, in case you're wondering, we didn't get an invite)
Cllr Eaves said that when Mr Woodward came, Fylde was a low-performing council and it is now one of the best in the north west. Its services are above average and we get "more bang for his buck"
We suspect he's not quite right there. It wasn't so much low performing as wilfully disobedient of Government diktat.
In 2003, Fylde was - to quote the previous Leader - "On the verge of being taken over by a Government agency" and it was then "Brought back from the edge of collapse"
That's mostly right and accurate - so you can see there is some basis for the 'low performing' comment.
However, as we showed in 'Failing to Impress' - the reason for this was to do with a former Government's predilection for housing. That was not seen as a priority by local people in the
surveys FBC had done. So the Council had 'defied' the Government and listened to its electorate (as it absolutely should have done). It had not put housing at the top of it's agenda.
As a result, Fylde was threatened with commissioners coming in to run services. So it changed tack and did the Government's bidding (which was probably the right thing to do on this occasion). But what wasn't 'right' was an absolutely huge con
trick played about the number of houses 'needed' in Fylde. This is a con that has wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds on plans that residents did not want from their council. It created amongst other things, a homelessness service that advertised
and promoted itself and positively and sought out 'clients' You can see all the details in the 'Failing to Impress' article.
So we thought Cllr Eaves' justification for the praise of what Fylde had done was a bit 'iffy' and we thought we'd just list some of the things that Fylde has done since Mr Woodward was appointed - so our readers can form their own view.
Then we'll have a look at where Fylde might go under it's new Chief Executive.
So, first, here is Mr Woodward's 'Chronology' from March 2006
22 March 2006
Just before the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, FBC issued a press release saying they were banning kite flying on the beach and all public open spaces.
2 June 2006
The Council decide to agree the demolition of the fine Porritt-built Conservative Club for an Aldi store
16 June 2006
The Council stop supporting the Citizen's Advice Bureaux and it closed.
28 June 2006
After strident cries of "We're heading for a deficit of £700,000 this year" And after closing Kirkham baths, threatening to close St Anne's swimming pool, chopping the tourism budget by £77,000, closing public toilets, cutting £36,000
from the Citizen's Advice Bureau funding, and robbing £205,000 worth out of pensioners of bus pass money given by the Government, Fylde had the nerve to announce it had actually made a surplus of £339,000.
30 June 2006
Something in the order of three quarters of a million pounds is squirreled away into special reserves, creating a 'back-pocket' of cash outside the normal revenue and capital accounts.
25 July 2006
The Council approves a pay increase for councillors that will add about £40,000 a year to the Council Tax bill. (a bit less than £1 extra on each band D property in Fylde).
29 September 2006
Plans to privatise Kirkham Baths and St Annes Swimming Pool are announced.
9 October 2006
There is a plan for an "Equitable Taxation" scheme that would cost all of us more, and mean, for example, Elswick villagers would be paying £79 a year more than other Fylde taxpayers
3 February 2007
A secret, four page list of saleable assets has been assembled for the Great January Sale. Asset-stripping is the name of the game.
10 February 2007
Fylde creates a shell company. It's being set up ready to go into business doing MOTs and repairs on a profit making basis, in competition with local repair shops.
14 March 2007
The 'City of the Fylde' idea gets a boost, as Fylde supports joint working with Blackpool.
27 July 2007
Fylde announce plans to impose parking charges in Lytham's Lowther Gardens.
12 August 2007
In 'No Accounting for Fylde' (possibly the most important article counterbalance has ever published) we reported a disastrous attempt to introduce a new computerised accounting system. Implementation failed almost completely. Income was in one
system, spending in another, and neither could be reconciled. The incompetent introduction of this system by officers led directly to the huge Streetscene debacle.
1 November 2007
Fylde announce plans to abandon service delivery by the Council and have almost everything run from Wyre. Around 60% of Fylde Council staff are to be pruned out in the first move. We broke this exclusive story. In the end, Wyre deciding they didn't
want anything to do with sharing Fylde's services.
10 November 2007
Supported and encouraged by the Council, the Muir Group plan to build a hostel for homeless transients in St Anne's.
19 November 2007
A late item was slid quietly onto the Agenda of Fylde's Cabinet. Members are advised to give urgent support to what will turn out to be a disastrous idea - signing up to the Central Lancashire and Blackpool Growth Point Bid which, eventually,
Cllr Trevor Fiddler had to extricate us from.
29 November 2007
The Council meeting becomes a shambles and turns into a war-zone, without proper administration. Movers of motions were called to propose them after their issues had already been dealt with. A member of the public who had submitted a written question
was so disgusted with the procedure, they stood up, said so, and walked out. An inexperienced Councillor trying to second a motion was cut short, then re-invited to make their speech to wind up the debate. An amendment negating a motion was accepted,
voted on and passed. The atmosphere was one of complete administrative incompetence. Anyone at Fylde with an understanding of how things should be done must have come away with a heavy heart.
20 December 2007
More Fylde staff are transferred to Blackpool, and Fylde bends the rules to pay Blackpool Council £199,000 a year for the next six years for a 'Human Resource Service' - bloating the already swollen overheads still further. The payment includes a
fixed cost of £119,000 payable irrespective of how many staff Fylde has.
18 January 2008
Fylde's DC Committee approved Muir's plan to dump a hostel for the transient homeless in Heeley Road St Anne's.
28 January 2008
After a fire in a council depot and, with no proper accounting system in place to track its spending, we publish 'Incompetence or Fraud?' where we report a £609,000 overspend hidden in the
accounts then threatens swimming pool closure (again).
9 February 2008
The Council is going to close St Annes Pool and maybe Kirkham Baths because spending on the Street Scene department is "Spiralling out of Control"
25 February 2008
We look into more of Fylde's financial incompetence. This time it's grown to a £709,000 shortfall in the Street Scene department.
5 March 2008
In the most popular and widely read article we have ever published, (High Performing Council ?) we reproduce publish someone else's view of just what a high performing Council Fylde is.
3 March 2008
in 'Travesty of Democracy' we reported the worst meeting that Fylde Council has ever held. It decides to close Saint Anne's Swimming Pool only 20 years after it was built. They've literally almost run out of money.
26 April 2008
Things in Fylde have become so bad that 200 residents pack a 'Save St Annes' public meeting organised by a plethora of local groups and supported by the St Annes Town Council. It passes a vote
of 'No Confidence' in the present Cabinet of Fylde Borough Council and calls for a return to the Committee and Council system of governance.
1 May 2008
Fylde Council plans a shake-up of senior management. We say it's a restructure that aims to 'disappear' the albatross StreetScene department that cost us an extra £700,000 and will go on to cost an extra £500,000 each year for the next three years. A
wider restructure of all departments will hide what's going on though.
16 May 2008
The results of the Save St Annes Public Meeting make uncomfortable reading for the Town Hall. The pool closure plans are unpopular, but twice as many people are dissatisfied with the way the Council operates. 99% of 200 respondents say Fylde Borough
Council should take more notice of its electorate.
22 July 2008
Fylde's officers advise the Cabinet to sell land at Heeley Road worth around £500,000 for a pittance and (adding insult to injury) they give the buyer a grant equal to the cost of the land. "Freebies R Us" has arrived in Fylde.
17 November 2008
Fylde's prepares the Big Red Panic Button because disaster looms large. The Town Hall Project is to be shelved, the pool sites are to be sold off, spending and recruitment are frozen, emergency powers to be given to individual councillors, and there
is talk of redundancy to save money. The coffers are running on empty.
23 November 2008
Fylde's finances are so bad they declare the equivalent of a financial State of Emergency.
12 January 2009
The M55 Hub scheme to merge Blackpool and Fylde's boundaries and some operations moves forward behind closed doors. Also on planning matters, the 'Potential Urban Housing Extensions' that later became known as 'SHLAA' are leaked.
1 February 2009
Fylde's Councillor Paul Hayhurst is 'tried' at the Dalmeny Standards Board Tribunal following a complaint by Chief Executive Philip Woodward after he publicly called for the resignation of those who overspent £1.2m of our cash. Cllr Hayhurst was
13 February 2009
Fylde turns down an offer of £310,000 to buy the Heeley Road site and sells it for £250,000. Then it says it will bung the buyer a grant of £250,000.
6 May 2009
With empty coffers at the Town Hall, Fylde resorts to borrowing money to make its staff redundant in an effort to reduce costs.
20 September 2009
A Scrutiny Committee investigate Streetscene's financial black hole that closed the swimming pool. But guess what... after two years of investigation, no-one's to blame. Whitewash. What a surprise.
30 October 2009
An un-scheduled Council meeting abandons £ 800,000 worth of planning already done. They go back to the drawing board for another £ 25,000 scheme to sell off the Town Hall, and build a new Ivory Tower on the car park at the back of the Public Offices.
12 January 2010
Fylde's Equitable Taxation and Special Expenses tax con starts to go horribly wrong. Kirkham Town Council won't be getting its parks to run anytime soon. Threats of a 9% tax rise for everyone will put a stop to that.
15 February 2010
Fylde is the worst council in Lancashire and the fourth most expensive according to a new assessment being reported to Cabinet on Wednesday.
5 March 2010
Fylde Council debates a budget that will re-open St Annes Pool, and approve an external debt limit of up to £11 million.
8 April 2010
On the recommendation of Fylde's officers, Leader John Coombes decide we should join the separate legal entity that will become 'Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company Ltd. He makes an 'Urgent' individual member decision (despite
negotiations having gone on for months) so it can't be called-in. There is chicanery at work here.
23 April 2010
Cllr Mrs Oades forces a debate in full Council on whether we should join the 'Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company Ltd.
6 September 2010
Plans are laid to implement charges on North Beach Car Park.
28 September 2010
Town Hall: The plan for a new £7 million White Elephant Town Hall is declared dead. £800,000 has been wasted on plans that Fylde could never afford.
1 October 2010
The Tourist Information Centre is to close. We first have an office in the Town Hall, then a notice on the front door saying that when closed in the evenings and at weekends (when most visitors arrive!), please go to Blackpool. (yes really)
25 November 2010
Audit are called in at Fylde. The unsuccessful swimming pool tenderer has complained to Fylde's external auditors about improper handling of the tendering and contract awarding process that saw the YMCA charge £1.6m more than his bid.
16 December 2010
The Great Tax Con returns. Fylde has appointed a Consultant and paid her around £20,000 to look into ways that could sidestep the Government capping limit and see another £300,000 taken in tax from the people of Fylde for no practical benefit.
12 January 2011
A meeting of Fylde's District Parish Liaison Group' is called to consider Fylde's 'Asset Transfer' scheme. Fylde officials say they won't attend the meeting. They cancelled it without consulting its Chairman.
13 February 2011
We break the news that something fishy - or at least secretive - going on around the transactions aimed at moving Melton Grove housing out of the public sector. Not least there's a deal of confusion about who owns it and what's going to happen to it.
2 March 2011
Two meetings were held last week about FBC's plan to sell off Melton Grove. The residents had their own get-together to form a Residents Association, and the current and potential future owners of the site met with residents to tell them what was
going to happen to them.
10 March 2011
The Ansdell Business Group re-forms to consider how to spend £100,000 on regenerating Ansdell, or is it £22,000?, and is it coming from the sale of Melton Grove?
18 March 2011
Just as Melton Grove is being lined up for a sale that will produce an unexpected cash receipt, along comes a request from Lytham Hall for £300,000 to help their lottery bid. The Officer's recommendation to Cabinet binds the income from Melton Grove
inextricably to the grant to the Hall.
20 March 2011
As we have been predicting for two years, Wyre Council were so dissatisfied with Fylde's work, they have now said they won't even let Fylde onto their tender list to bid for the contract to empty Wyre's bins again.
20 March 2011
The 'Classic Resort' status, and '2020 Vision' that was set to polish St Annes promenade to perfection over the next 10 to 20 years, is abandoned for a 'more modest' scheme, and the vision has been shortened to next year. Also, there's a scheme to do
up Ansdell shops if some funds arrive 'unexpectedly.' - Guess where that's coming from then.
7 April 2011
Fylde's Council considers the decision to sell Melton Grove and whether to give £300,000 of the proceeds to Lytham Hall. The meeting is an absolute shambles. Items are mal-administered and missed from the agenda altogether. Honestly, you couldn't make
29 May 2011
Fylde Council issue a premature press release (about being cleared by their auditors on the pool tendering process) just before the election. Is it done in order to damage the prospects of an independent candidate and favour a conservative candidate?
They remove the press release from their website. We pursue a freedom of information request about who authorised the press release. Fylde's officers block the request. We pursue it further, and an independent arbitrator says we should be told that it
was Mr Woodward who had authorised the press release.
22 June 2011
Advised by officers, the Directors of Melton Grove remove themselves from Council control. When you can't win by the rules - just change the rules. Easy Peasy.
10 July 2011
In our article 'Abandon Hope all ye Who Enter' we say we've finally give up on the higher echelons of the officer class at Fylde. It's time for renewal. In the words of one of our readers, they
are out of control. It's really sad to see what used to be a first rate little council so badly abused. Information is being provided selectively to the ruling group and not to all councillors, and very dubious practices are being employed with regard
to Melton Grove.
16 July 2011
Aided by weasel words from officers, the cowardly Directors of Melton Grove meet in secret and remove Cllr Louis Rigby's share and thus his vote as a Director. The exchange of contracts was effected on Friday: the last day before an Extra-Ordinary
Council Meeting called to debate the matter. Officers scuttle round for signatures to close the deal and make sure the sale happens before the Council can discuss it. Administratively, it's an absolute disgrace.
18 July 2011
Extra Ordinary events before an extra ordinary Council meeting about Melton Grove. The Chief Exec tell the mayor he is to be charged to hold a Council meeting. The Conservatives are told to boycott it. Extra-ordinary lengths are employed to make sure the sale
of Melton Grove cannot be stopped.
8 August 2011
Pool Audit: the Final Report on Fylde's handling of the pool tendering process is published, Auditors conclude there were mistakes and bad practices on the Council's part, but that in accepting the higher cost tender from the YMCA, the Council had not
acted 'unreasonably' in the tender evaluation process. The Council did fail to follow its own procedures and accepted good practice when it invited firms to tender knowing they were not qualified to do so. All six parties who submitted prequalification
questionnaires were invited to tender, but only two of these had passed the pre-qualification tests as being fit to tender. As a result, the Council invited detailed tenders from four parties when ought not to have been invited to tender at all.
26 August 2011
Fylde's St David's Road Depot is in a sorry state, especially if you live or work around it. It has dumped asbestos and dumped fridges which, according to FBC's officers don't even exist (but they moved them this week).
4 November 2011
The Task and Finish Group's shocking Melton Grove report goes to Scrutiny. There are more questions than answers, and a great deal to worry about. It shows a truly shocking state of affairs has been operating at Fylde. Incompetent governance and
administration are at its heart. They found there was nothing illegal, but they simply couldn't believe what an awful mess had been made by the complete lack of governance by officers.
23 November 2011
We shine our spotlight on what's happening at Lowther Gardens Trust. We believe it has been very badly set up by officers. We find that all's not well. Few, if any have a grasp of the objects of the charity and that's the sole reason the Trust should
exist. There's trouble brewing....
And that brings us more or less up to date - unless there are still some nasty little issues wriggling in the woodwork waiting to see the light of day, but if not, there we have an up to date catalogue of some of the events that have taken place
Reflecting on Cllr Eaves' praise of Mr Woodward's achievements, and contrasting that with Cllr Hayhurst's comments in the recent Melton Grove debate in Council where he said "I have to say, and I've been a critic of his for many years, but I have
to throw this at the Chief Executive. Because the fact is that I have previously said that the Chief Executive should consider his position when we dealt with the fire at the refuse depot. Since then we've had Heeley Road, which I see that the Cabinet
wanted to make sure they didn't have another debacle like Heeley Road. But on this occasion, the fact is that I understand that from what came out of the Scrutiny meeting was that the Chief Executive led the way on this sale. And if that is the case,
I think it is a disgraceful situation.
I've said before that he should have gone, and I'm delighted that he's now decided that he's taking early retirement, because what we've had over the years is that we've gone from one debacle to another."
We are inclined to side with Cllr
Hayhurst's view of history.
Mr Woodward's tenure has seen several Council meetings that vie with each other to be the worst administratively conducted meetings that Fylde has ever held. It produced the greatest financial incompetence (failed CIVICA computer system). It
produced the greatest waste of money (White elephant Town Hall scheme - which eclipsed even the Great Ashton Theatre disaster). It has produced Fylde's worst ever decision (Swimming pool closures), and Fylde's most shameful decision (Melton Grove). So we're not unhappy with a change.
So what of the future, who's the new King and what will he be like?
We understand the new Chief Executive - Alan Oldfield - formally takes up his post on 1 January 2012.
Following a top level shake-up, Tracy Scholes is appointed as Director of Resources, Clare Platt as Director of Community Services and Paul Walker as
Director of Strategic Development Services from the same date. That's one less top manager than before.
Mr Woodward's former basic CE pay grade of £88,818 to £98,739 is being reduced to £83,394 to £93, 699 "to reflect the current economic climate
and consequent reduction in market salaries" Many will see these changes as a positive step.
Being a CE is not an easy job, chiefly because of the responsibility you carry. With up to 200 people under management one way or another, there's always something lurking in the woodwork that can come out and bite you unexpectedly.
Having the ability
and clarity to predict the direction that events will take is a necessary gift - but bestowed on few, and, having an understanding of, and better still an empathy with, the particular and unusual characteristics that define Fylde Borough, and
especially Lytham St Annes, is equally rare. Someone once said that to understand Fylde, and do the job properly, you had to be forty when you were born.
But the most difficult part of being a Local Authority Chief Executive (if you're going to do the job properly) is managing the relationship with senior Councillors - especially those of an ambitious persuasion when in full flight, with bulging eyes,
and steam coming out of their ears.
From time to time, the CE has to stand up to people like this, and tell them there are things they must, or cannot do.
You have to offend and risk creating bad relationships with them when you insist on impartial treatment of all elected members equally (especially when someone wants a political advantage for themselves).
And you have to ensure your subordinate officers are not compromised by councillors who will say things like - "You've heard what the Chairman (or Cabinet member) has said - just get on with it" - when 'getting on with it' is unlikely to enjoy
widespread support amongst other elected members.
It's a job where you put your own employment at risk, probably on a weekly or certainly on a monthly basis.
So it's not a chalice to be taken lightly.
Mr Oldfield has chosen to accept the challenge.
From what we know of him and from what we have seen so far, there are mixed signals. He absolutely understands how to deal with the public, and that's a big plus. We watched him defuse a potentially difficult online row about the microchips in the rubbish bins
when he said Fylde would absolutely not be implementing the monitoring of waste volumes. He was first-class in presenting his arguments and setting minds at rest.
Equally (and we're very guilty of not publishing something sooner about this), he did a first-class job when he assumed responsibility for the St David's Road cleanup we reported in 'Talking Rubbish ?'
Once he saw for himself that previous Council statements that had been made were completely erroneous (and we think they were made by someone higher up the tree than he was at that time, but he took the can for them), he held up his hands, and there
were skips and JCBs on site almost before you could blink. Concerned local residents were pacified, and a thorough clean up was undertaken. Not only that, but he gave out his personal extension number to those who had complained, and asked them to
ring him if they saw anything wrong on the site in the future.
That's exactly how to deal with such a situation, he calmed an inflamed situation and we thoroughly commend his actions and his logic.
On the negative side, we still have nagging memories about the clarity of some of the evidence he gave at Cllr Paul Hayhurst's Standards Board Tribunal hearing back in 2009.
But back in positive territory, we heard tell that he's likely to quietly drop the plan to launch 'FBC Solutions' as an Arms Length Management Organisation - (where Fylde would be running businesses with private boards of directors). So
maybe the scandal of Melton Grove has done *some* good on the wider scene.
We're double pleased here. First because we absolutely don't support the creation of businesses by Councils - even if the aim is to offset falling tax income with trading profits. They inevitably challenge existing local businesses operating in the
same field (but normally start using public money and asset transfers at less than proper market value), and if council staff were good at running businesses, they'd be doing that already. Council employees actually need a different skillset
(and mindset) to those of business folk. The two don't mix well.
Secondly we're pleased about it because we had spotted a draft structure for FBC solutions recently, and it had something called an 'Independent Director' or some such wasteful salaried position listed. We heard tell this was expected to be an
'external appointment' - maybe like an Non-Exec director in a commercial company - and the word on the streets was that a former Chief Executive would probably be a very suitable person to fill that role.
So if FBC Solutions *has* dried up - as we hear, that's very good news. And if the new CE was instrumental in bringing that about, then it's a very good sign.
Having reshuffled his own management team, we hear talk of a new staff structure to be unveiled early in the new year and, as a new broom, he'll want to be seen to be sweeping clean, especially at the start. He'll also know that a new boss needs to
get all the pain over with in his honeymoon period just as he takes the reins, so we can probably expect to see quite a lot of change in short order - albeit that we expect most of that to be internal change. There will be an uncertain period for
staff as the rumour-mill goes into overdrive and people (both with and without cause) start to feel threatened.
So at this stage, we're recording an 'open verdict'. Cautiously positive, but we'll wait and see with an open mind.
He could have his work cut out with some of the less considerate Councillors though.
Giving us a further example of how - let's say 'insensitive' - some can be on occasions, our Blue Mole reader has been in touch again, and tells us there had been a lot of upset and more fireworks at a Conservative group meeting recently. They
alleged that after what some had seen as an unconvincing role on the Shale Gas Task and Finish group, Cllr Ben Aitkin walked into the Conservative group meeting and proceeded to give a five minute diatribe on the naivety and incompetence of newly
elected members of the Conservative group in fraternising with the opposition.
Our friend with the velvety fur and short powerful digging limbs tells us that at least one female member of the group was reduced to tears, and most Councillors seemed offended. BM's view was that all the hard work done by David Eaves had been left
in tatters, and even the usually vocal Cllrs Wood and Armit were stunned in to silence as what was described as an 'aimless ramble' gathered pace.
One councillor reputedly told colleagues afterwards that the silence following the rant had spoken volumes.
Equally, it's quite ironic that Cllr Aitkin is reputedly chief witch-hunter for leaks, but evidently not able to catch the Blue Mole.
Cllr Aitken has, as they say, previous form at upsetting people. This tale put us in mind of his speech at the Council meeting in the Rugby Club where, shortly after his election, he was chosen by the former Commissar to lead the 'Members
Choice' debate. He chose the topic of welfare and benefits. He was so strident in the tone and views he expressed that several of the female councillors got up and walked out whilst he was speaking because they were offended and upset at his
inhumanity. But he simply smiled and did that 'You might well be upset, but you're going to hear what I have to say' thing, and ploughed on regardless. Even we, who have our own doubts about some of the benefits of the present welfare system,
were shocked at the tone he adopted. But he obviously felt that his views would enlighten those that did not see things from his perspective. We felt he hadn't quite managed to win many hearts and minds when he had finished, but he probably felt
Only time will tell if this latest incident will be considered irrelevant or if it causes long term damage in what our Blue Mole reader describes as an increasingly fractured group, but if correct, it illustrates the sort of tantrums and perspectives that the
new CE will have to be able to deal with.
We wish him well.
Dated: 28 December 2011