Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Shamless spin as City of Culture Company Chief Exec is paid off

The front page of the Liverpool Daily Post today carries the headline and main story "City's ex-culture chief wins £230,000 pay-off" and the sub headline is "Harborow lands golden handshake as auditor brands Liverpool 'wasteful'".

It is about Jason Harborow finalising the details of his severage package, as he leaves his post of City of Culture Company (an arm of the city council) Chief Executive in only the first month of the year.

You will recall that Council leader Warren Bradley, LibDem and his colleague Councillor Mike Storey have both been reported to the Standards Board for allegedly plotting to have him sacked following the cancellation of the Mathew Street Festival.

It was believed by employment lawyers that their behaviour gave Jason a very strong case should he decide to take the council to an Employment Tribunal and so they have settled out of court.

What fascinated me more though was the council press release that was sent out. I reproduce it in full here for its sheer breathtaking and shamless spin value.

"Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of Liverpool Culture Company, has announced today that he is stepping down from his post.

He has successfully steered the Culture Company from its inception to readiness, including raising private sponsorship funding, and the delivery of the much acclaimed artistic programme for 08.

Mr Harborow said: “I have fulfilled my pledge to the people of Liverpool; my job is done, and it is time now for a new challenge”.

He is moving on to pursue new business interests and  is to step down from his post at the end of the month.

He went on to say: " I have very much enjoyed my time in Liverpool. It has been a tremendous challenge but we are there. 2008 will be the beginning of the future for Liverpool and its entire people, and I am grateful that I was able to play a role in that. Other personal business opportunities have opened up for me next year and I wish to concentrate my efforts on these.  I have therefore taken the decision to leave now, confident that  the programme for 2008 will make it the most successful Capital of Culture ever. I am leaving behind a strong organisation moving forwards into its delivery role."

Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council, said: ”Jason has made a huge contribution to the city over the last four years in leading the team that has developed such a strong programme for 2008. He brought flair and a commercial edge to our work and will always be remembered for his enthusiasm and ability to engage the support of the most top level people across sport, government, the arts and other institutions.”

Bryan Gray, Chairman of the Culture Company Board, said: "I would like to thank Jason for his contribution to the success of the Capital of Culture over the last few years.  I am sure that everyone associated with the Liverpool Culture Company will join with me in sending best wishes to Jason for his future."

I see the quotes all come from officers, I wonder what Bradley's response would have been?


We've know when we've been tangoed said...

"I have fulfilled my pledge to the people of Liverpool"

A man beyond parody.

Tony Parrish said...

Hey Louise,

Why don't you email me with some of this stuff and I will post it as well on the subculture blog...