Somerset County Council chief executive Sheila Wheeler leaves by "mutual consent"

Chard & Ilminster News: Somerset County Council chief exec Sheila Wheeler leaves by "mutual consent" Somerset County Council chief exec Sheila Wheeler leaves by "mutual consent"

A HIGHLY paid council boss will receive only a quarter of her £160,000-a-year salary as a pay-off after agreeing to leave her post.

Somerset County Council said yesterday (Wednesday) the departure of chief executive Sheila Wheeler had been reached by “mutual agreement”.

Ms Wheeler, who has been away from County Hall since November – and on full-paid absence since about mid-December – will receive three months’ pay in lieu of notice - about £40,000.

When Ms Wheeler’s absence began, the council initially said she was “on sick leave”, then in January a statement said simply she was “not in the office at this time”, a position the authority did not flinch from until yesterday, when it confirmed Ms Wheeler had left on Friday.

The authority said: “It's been frustrating for the council to be unable to respond to criticism in the media because we are satisfied the matter was being dealt with in the most appropriate way possible.

“The reason the process has taken some time is because it was necessary to deal with a complaint that had been made against other individuals within the council.

“At the council's request, the complaint was investigated by an independent QC who concluded there was no wrongdoing by the individuals who were the subject of the complaint.

“We cannot confirm any details about the complaint nor can we comment on whether there has been any disciplinary action involved.”

It is understood the complaint was made against both officers and councillors but it is not known who the individuals are.

A recruitment process to appoint Ms Wheeler’s permanent successor may not begin immediately.

Aside from the £40k pay-off, there will be legal costs connected to her departure which are still to be finalised.

On Tuesday, the County Gazette spoke to Ms Wheeler at her £750,000 home near Creech St Michael, where she was cordial but declined to comment.

The council’s official statement read: “Somerset County Council can announce that chief executive Sheila Wheeler has left the council by mutual agreement.

"Her arrival at the council in February 2010 coincided with the first austerity measures coming into force, resulting in major budget cuts.

"She led the council through a prolonged period where significant service and staffing reductions had to be made.

"She also brought in major changes to the way the council operates and is run. We wish her well for the future.

"Until a replacement is appointed, Patrick Flaherty, the deputy chief executive, will serve as the acting chief executive.

"Patrick is a long-standing member of staff at the council and during the last few weeks has ably led the council’s response to the floods crisis."

Prime Minister David Cameron was also quizzed on the subject when he visited Bridgwater this afternoon.

 

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:57pm Wed 19 Feb 14

GreatOdin'sRaven says...

"On Tuesday, the County Gazette spoke to Ms Wheeler at her £750,000 home near Creech St Michael, where she was cordial but declined to comment."

You're lucky, I would've set the dogs on you.
"On Tuesday, the County Gazette spoke to Ms Wheeler at her £750,000 home near Creech St Michael, where she was cordial but declined to comment." You're lucky, I would've set the dogs on you. GreatOdin'sRaven
  • Score: -4

6:00pm Wed 19 Feb 14

nat_11 says...

where can I make an application for the job , I know my ABC's and can tie my own shoe laces!
I'd enjoy making the workers at the council my B*tches
where can I make an application for the job , I know my ABC's and can tie my own shoe laces! I'd enjoy making the workers at the council my B*tches nat_11
  • Score: 25

6:18pm Wed 19 Feb 14

ninalouisa says...

Just out of curiosity what was the name of the QC?. Feel free to pm me if you're rather not say publicly. I won't name names its just a hunch that I have it maybe nothing
Just out of curiosity what was the name of the QC?. Feel free to pm me if you're rather not say publicly. I won't name names its just a hunch that I have it maybe nothing ninalouisa
  • Score: 1

7:00pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Dr Dave says...

"Left by mutual consent" - in other words it is what we suspected all along - a clash of personalities at County Hall. A TOTAL and UTTER SHAMBLES that has cost the TAXPAYER (Yes, that's me and you) huge amounts of MONEY.
"Left by mutual consent" - in other words it is what we suspected all along - a clash of personalities at County Hall. A TOTAL and UTTER SHAMBLES that has cost the TAXPAYER (Yes, that's me and you) huge amounts of MONEY. Dr Dave
  • Score: 39

7:23pm Wed 19 Feb 14

tonysays says...

She took her former Authority Tunbridge Wells from a 'weak' to 'excellent', rating and turned this philosophy entirely on its head at Somerset......

I don't believe it's £40k severance for a moment. She's already had £40k since November, no doubt her legal fees will be £40k and then she'll have cashed her annual leave in etc etc for another £40k. It's cost at least £160k I reckon, voila, a years salary. Funny that. If it was really £40k severance, why the secrecy at Full Council today when I, along with everyone else in the public gallery got kicked out before Cllrs were told what was happening?

And they've put her Deputy in as acting CEo, the man who faced no appointment process to get the Deputy CEo job, was on £130k for doing that and is no doubt now on £160k for 'acting up'. Not bad for a man who fixed potholes for the Council a few short years ago until Wheeler thought he'd make a good number two. Good luck Pat, don't fall out with anyone.
She took her former Authority Tunbridge Wells from a 'weak' to 'excellent', rating and turned this philosophy entirely on its head at Somerset...... I don't believe it's £40k severance for a moment. She's already had £40k since November, no doubt her legal fees will be £40k and then she'll have cashed her annual leave in etc etc for another £40k. It's cost at least £160k I reckon, voila, a years salary. Funny that. If it was really £40k severance, why the secrecy at Full Council today when I, along with everyone else in the public gallery got kicked out before Cllrs were told what was happening? And they've put her Deputy in as acting CEo, the man who faced no appointment process to get the Deputy CEo job, was on £130k for doing that and is no doubt now on £160k for 'acting up'. Not bad for a man who fixed potholes for the Council a few short years ago until Wheeler thought he'd make a good number two. Good luck Pat, don't fall out with anyone. tonysays
  • Score: 32

7:44pm Wed 19 Feb 14

nat_11 says...

it took months for the council to take action on this, if this had been anyone else there would have been numerous documents to fill in and procedure for that amount of time out of the office, total abuse of the system!
it took months for the council to take action on this, if this had been anyone else there would have been numerous documents to fill in and procedure for that amount of time out of the office, total abuse of the system! nat_11
  • Score: 29

8:20pm Wed 19 Feb 14

nat_11 says...

ninalouisa wrote:
Just out of curiosity what was the name of the QC?. Feel free to pm me if you're rather not say publicly. I won't name names its just a hunch that I have it maybe nothing
what are you on about, its just a hunch that I have it may be nothing?
[quote][p][bold]ninalouisa[/bold] wrote: Just out of curiosity what was the name of the QC?. Feel free to pm me if you're rather not say publicly. I won't name names its just a hunch that I have it maybe nothing[/p][/quote]what are you on about, its just a hunch that I have it may be nothing? nat_11
  • Score: 13

6:13am Thu 20 Feb 14

ladybird14 says...

well about time should of had her P45 back in nov'13 when was so cord on sick (joke ahaha) like all the rest of us Tom , Dick & Harry's would of what a bloody laugh!!!!
well about time should of had her P45 back in nov'13 when was so cord on sick (joke ahaha) like all the rest of us Tom , Dick & Harry's would of what a bloody laugh!!!! ladybird14
  • Score: 3

9:23am Thu 20 Feb 14

Reallycycle says...

There was a rumour going around county hall back in November that she had been sacked. This seams to confirm that as management speak for sacked is 'left by mutual consent'. Given she did nothing while in charge, I'm just surprised it took three and a half years to discover how useless she is. The only thing she bough in were the 'Meet The Chief Executive' roadshows. Basically, her going around the county to tell the underpaid staff what a wonderful life she had. Lets just hope the council bring in someone from the private sector. Another reject from some other council is not going to help with the cut backs or the poor people whose homes are flooded.
There was a rumour going around county hall back in November that she had been sacked. This seams to confirm that as management speak for sacked is 'left by mutual consent'. Given she did nothing while in charge, I'm just surprised it took three and a half years to discover how useless she is. The only thing she bough in were the 'Meet The Chief Executive' roadshows. Basically, her going around the county to tell the underpaid staff what a wonderful life she had. Lets just hope the council bring in someone from the private sector. Another reject from some other council is not going to help with the cut backs or the poor people whose homes are flooded. Reallycycle
  • Score: 21

11:24am Thu 20 Feb 14

QuillPen says...

What goes on in privately run businesses is one thing, but since we pay the salaries of the people in County Hall,who run the county in our behalf, I would think we have every right to know exactly what has happened. It most definitely IS our business.
What goes on in privately run businesses is one thing, but since we pay the salaries of the people in County Hall,who run the county in our behalf, I would think we have every right to know exactly what has happened. It most definitely IS our business. QuillPen
  • Score: 20

12:26pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Mi_Coc says...

So since nov she has costs the tax payer 76k plus legal fees.

We dont need her replaced wiltshire decided in times of massive custs emplying someone on £150 plus as a figure wasn't sound financial sense!

She made complaints about the crooks in the council and now she is being paid to jump before being pushed.
So since nov she has costs the tax payer 76k plus legal fees. We dont need her replaced wiltshire decided in times of massive custs emplying someone on £150 plus as a figure wasn't sound financial sense! She made complaints about the crooks in the council and now she is being paid to jump before being pushed. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 10

6:49pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Dr Dave says...

I fail to see how someone can be *that* valuable to the Council to justify that salary package.....especial
ly in these times of austerity.
I fail to see how someone can be *that* valuable to the Council to justify that salary package.....especial ly in these times of austerity. Dr Dave
  • Score: 14

9:31pm Thu 20 Feb 14

SomersetComms says...

tonysays wrote:
She took her former Authority Tunbridge Wells from a 'weak' to 'excellent', rating and turned this philosophy entirely on its head at Somerset......

I don't believe it's £40k severance for a moment. She's already had £40k since November, no doubt her legal fees will be £40k and then she'll have cashed her annual leave in etc etc for another £40k. It's cost at least £160k I reckon, voila, a years salary. Funny that. If it was really £40k severance, why the secrecy at Full Council today when I, along with everyone else in the public gallery got kicked out before Cllrs were told what was happening?

And they've put her Deputy in as acting CEo, the man who faced no appointment process to get the Deputy CEo job, was on £130k for doing that and is no doubt now on £160k for 'acting up'. Not bad for a man who fixed potholes for the Council a few short years ago until Wheeler thought he'd make a good number two. Good luck Pat, don't fall out with anyone.
There is no payment for legal fees, nor is there any "cashing in" of holiday pay. The payment is a flat £40k. We accept though that's still a lot of public money.
[quote][p][bold]tonysays[/bold] wrote: She took her former Authority Tunbridge Wells from a 'weak' to 'excellent', rating and turned this philosophy entirely on its head at Somerset...... I don't believe it's £40k severance for a moment. She's already had £40k since November, no doubt her legal fees will be £40k and then she'll have cashed her annual leave in etc etc for another £40k. It's cost at least £160k I reckon, voila, a years salary. Funny that. If it was really £40k severance, why the secrecy at Full Council today when I, along with everyone else in the public gallery got kicked out before Cllrs were told what was happening? And they've put her Deputy in as acting CEo, the man who faced no appointment process to get the Deputy CEo job, was on £130k for doing that and is no doubt now on £160k for 'acting up'. Not bad for a man who fixed potholes for the Council a few short years ago until Wheeler thought he'd make a good number two. Good luck Pat, don't fall out with anyone.[/p][/quote]There is no payment for legal fees, nor is there any "cashing in" of holiday pay. The payment is a flat £40k. We accept though that's still a lot of public money. SomersetComms
  • Score: 4

6:44am Mon 24 Feb 14

markyboy123 says...

Milf
Milf markyboy123
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Rob71272 says...

markyboy123 wrote:
Milf
if you pay taxes in Somerset Markyboy then you already have been £@#Ked by her lol
[quote][p][bold]markyboy123[/bold] wrote: Milf[/p][/quote]if you pay taxes in Somerset Markyboy then you already have been £@#Ked by her lol Rob71272
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree