When the Council contracts with the ex-editor of the Derby Telegraph ( Steve Hall) for communications consultancy, then that is a matter of public interest. When public money is spent on a non-core service then, in the spirit of openness and transparency, this should have been discussed and approved, at the Cabinet meeting, in public.
In November 2016 when the Labour Council wanted communications consultancy support, this was approved at Cabinet, and subjected to Scrutiny. This precedent has not been followed by the current Tory administration.
Steve Hall left the Derby Telegraph in November 2018, and incorporated himself as Steve Hall Communications Ltd on 20 December 2018. In his first year of trading he made £4656 profit.
He joined the digital brand marketing and communications company, Champions (UK) on 2 January 2019 as the Communications Director.
In May 2019 he became the Chair of the Derby Renaissance Board “a private-public-partnership which exercises strategic influence to create a thriving and attractive city for all.”
In February 2020, he started working for Derby City Council (£2250), and in March, Champions (UK) plc was providing its services to the Council (£6000). In June 2020, he resigned from Champions (UK) plc and continued his direct contract with the Council ( £5200 in June) – a contract which continues. He resigned from the Renaissance Board in August 2020.
This is an issue with the conduct of the Tory Council. Mr Hall is not an inert figure in the City. One might question why, given that the Council is contracting with him, a man with substantial links within Derby, that they haven’t chosen to celebrate this relationship.
Where was the scutiny of this deal, and the demonstration that it represents value for money for the City?
I’m sure all of the 17 Neighburhood Boards could usefully use money spent on “Communications Consultancy” to great value in their individual communities.
The Tories seemed to have descended into frivolous spending.
Categories: Derby City Council