Nathan Elvery

Consultant’s third role with council

A little over two years from leaving a council with a “significant bullying problem” a former boss is in his third role working with South Holland District Council.

It first appointed Nathan Elvery as Head of Interim Paid Services in October 2020 officially to oversee its break up with Breckland Council.

It followed him leaving as chief executive of West Sussex County Council with a £265,000 pay out in November 2019 after a report for the Department for Education stated the council had a ‘significant bullying problem’ that was ‘modelled from the top of organisation’.

The contract for the interim role, the pay for which was shared with Breckland, ended at the end of April 2021, but SHDC voted to extend Mr Elvery’s contract to work for the authority two days a week.

It was voted through after the meeting was taken behind closed doors to discuss how much extending Mr Elvery’s contract would cost tax payers, something Coun Angela Newton described at the time as “a not insignificant amount”.

In the public portion of the meeting the council leader Lord Gary Porter said that the contract extension ‘shouldn’t be more than four weeks’.

But Mr Elvery was kept on by the authority as a ‘strategic advisor’, a position his Linked In page states he carried out from July 2021 to December 2021. He took on the latest Interim Deputy Chief Executive for Communities for the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership from October 2021 with South Holland funding 31 per cent of all the body’s leadership team and senior managers staff.

The Voice has on numerous occasions in the last few months asked how much Mr Elvery’s employment has cost taxpayers.

A Freedom Of Information request asking how much Mr Elvery received as a strategic consultant was referred to the Information Commissioner’s Office after it wasn’t responded to in time. When responded to, the request was refused due to it referring to ‘personal information’, a decision partially upheld after a requested internal review, though SHDC did say Mr Elvery had been paid £308 in expenses in his role as head of paid service and strategic advisor.

Other requests for information started in October and clarified in November, were responded to this week.

The council made payments totalling £23,494 between May and August to London-based HR firm Penna for what a spokesman called “executive interim consultancy, for a single contract”.

It’s not immediately clear if this relates to Mr Elvery’s two days a week Strategic Advisor position or another consultancy position.

The council spokesman said the deputy chief executive wages would be included in financial year-end statements, though the none have been published since the creation of the posts.

Mr Elvery is still listed as the managing director and sole director of the still operating Imagine Public Services Ltd consultancy firm he founded in December 2019 which is listed as being based at a residential address in Surrey.

The Voice also asked if Mr Elvery had moved to the area.

A council spokesman said: “We are following national guidance in asking staff to work from home where possible.”

  • Following the publication of this article in this week’s edition of The Voice, this morning (Thursday, January 13) the South and East Lincolnshire Local Partnership announced a new Deputy Chief Executive for Communities who will start in March.

It was announced via the partnership’s Linked In page which states: “We’re pleased to announce the appointment of John Leach as our new Deputy Chief Executive (Communities).

“Currently, John serves as Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services at Leicester City Council and will join the Partnership this March. In his existing role he is responsible for most front facing council services serving Leicester’s diverse population of some 350,000 people – from regulatory services, waste management and parks and open spaces through to community facilities, city cleansing and community safety.”

Rob Barlow, Joint Chief Executive of our three Councils, said: “I’m delighted that John will soon be joining us at the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership. Our recruitment process was incredibly competitive, and we’re very pleased that it’s resulted in someone of John’s calibre joining our team. We’re all looking forward to working with John and helping to drive forward our ambitious Partnership.”

John added: “I am very excited to be joining the three councils in the form of the trailblazing South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership. This clearly is a fantastic opportunity to ensure joined up, efficient and effective public service delivery for local communities that live in this most important sub-region. I’m really looking forward to working with colleagues, partners and elected members on delivering the Partnership’s vision and future ambitions for South and East Lincolnshire.”

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