Wednesday, 11 November 2009

I report to myself and manage myself

Cornwall Council's Cabinet has decided to create a new committee to help oversee the running of the airport. The Airport Development Group will sit between the Cabinet and the two business organisations that run the airport and the land around it.

All of this was recommended by the report by Sir John Mills into the running of the airport and is to be welcomed.

The trouble is that the proposal appears to be that the same bunch of people will be on the committees at all levels:

At the top will be the Cabinet (cabinet members and chief officers)
In the middle will be the Airport Development Group (cabinet members, chief officers and heads of service)
Also in the middle will be the Economic Development and Transportation Services (cabinet members, chief officers and heads of service)
At the bottom will be the Cornwall Development Company and Cornwall Airport Limited (cabinet members and external business people)

So the cabinet members and chief officers will manage themselves and will also report to themselves. It doesn't really matter that there may be a few differences in which cabinet member sits on which committee - they all come from the same pool and there is no difference in outlook.

This was not what Sir John Mills wanted to see and he specifically recommended against it. It's a shame that the Cabinet can't see what problems could come as a result.

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