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Another One Bites The Dust


Vaughan

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If you read the Broads Blog this morning you will see that James Knight has been removed as a member of the Navigation Committee, and he tells his side of the story.

It makes interesting reading and means one less voice on the side of toll payers and boating people.  I gather they were already one short on the committee as it is.

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I read 'the broads blog' not much there, apart from a 'toys thrown out of the pram' kind of statement, from someone who likes to get their own way. I wonder, is there more to it and will we actually get to hear it... :35_thinking:

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I suppose that the usual few will accuse me and others of simply knocking the Authority & John Packman just for the sake of it.  However this latest blog, even if diluted, gives clear reason for valid criticism. I have watched this situation develop, John Packman has gained an unhealthy level of control. The Acle Bridge folly is now moving towards planning, costs along the rhond estimated to at least double. It is not just James Knight's dismissal that must now be questioned, the alarm bells are surely ringing loud and clear, even for the profoundly deaf amongst us.

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Pardon! did Peter just say something? :default_rofl:

On a serious note, I haven't always seen eye to eye with James, but he is fair and not the toys out of pram sort of person.

To misquote Shakespeare "Something is rotten in the state of Broadland"

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13 minutes ago, kingfisher666 said:

I read 'the broads blog' not much there, apart from a 'toys thrown out of the pram' kind of statement, from someone who likes to get their own way. I wonder, is there more to it and will we actually get to hear it... :35_thinking:

John, not so long ago Lana Hempsal also failed to toe the Packman line, James is not the first to be reprimanded. There is also no question that prospective members are vetted before being appointed to the Authority. The control exercised by the CEO defies the democratic process.  

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Another debacle to add to the List, when will Dr Packman realise that this kind of thing is unacceptable.  

I can imagine James ruffles feathers but I say rightly so and having to remove those who might well see things differently makes Dr Packman look incredibley weak in my opinion, why is this man still in the Job. 

It doesnt hurt to have differing views around a table it can produce a happier balance, a situation Dr Packman clearly cant handle. 

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7 minutes ago, dnks34 said:

Another debacle to add to the List, when will Dr Packman realise that this kind of thing is unacceptable.  

I can imagine James ruffles feathers but I say rightly so and having to remove those who might well see things differently makes Dr Packman look incredibley weak in my opinion, why is this man still in the Job. 

It doesnt hurt to have differing views around a table it can produce a happier balance, a situation Dr Packman clearly cant handle. 

JP would probably say that as a 'team' its members would all sing from the same hymn sheet. When I was on the Navigation Committee I was told that as a member I was 'expected' to support decisions made by the officers. Surely it is for the officers to support decisions made by the members but that is not how it is.

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Five years ago, the MPs whose constituencies covered the Broads met with senior members of the Broads Authority and the appointed members of the Broads Authority’s Navigation Committee in early September, at Westminster, to discuss concerns about the Authority’s governance and consultation processes amongst other things.

They were asked to improve their management style. It appaers this quite reasonable request has been ignored. Indeed, things may have worsened.

https://www.waterways.org.uk/news_campaigns/other_news/mps_ask_broads_authority_to_review_management_style

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On a slightly different topic, can anyone point me to anything suggesting what the Acle Bridge project is actually going to cost and from where it will be funded?

On this topic, presumably we will now see others resigning in his support? I will leave further comment until that happens methinks - does anyone know  what issue precipitated his resignation?

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the problem with populating a committee with yes men, is that everyone ends up looking to the leader for decisions to be handed down, and they all lose the ability to think originally and act from their own decisions. then the appointed leader steps back and you are suddenly confronted by a group of headless chickens, none of whom can act or make a decision on their own. chaos then ensues.

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1 hour ago, Poppy said:

They were asked to improve their management style. It appaers this quite reasonable request has been ignored. Indeed, things may have worsened.

You would have to assume, that those same MP's are now quite satisfied with the 'management style'. If, after five years, they were still not happy with the governance of the Broads Authority, then surely they would have been on to Michael Gove at DEFRA to make changes...

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1 minute ago, kingfisher666 said:

You would have to assume, that those same MP's are now quite satisfied with the 'management style'. If, after five years, they were still not happy with the governance of the Broads Authority, then surely they would have been on to Michael Gove at DEFRA to make changes...

They may well be.  Another interpretation could be that they have been very busy with other matters.... 

Perhaps if many with concens were to write......

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3 minutes ago, Poppy said:

They may well be.  Another interpretation could be that they have been very busy with other matters....

If they're too busy to look after matters directly involving their own constituencies, perhaps they ought to consider another job...

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I am not taking sides at all, but running, or having run committees for many years, I have some sympathy - they are difficult to run and manage and you can have members who seem to think they have their own agendas to pursue. Inevitably as a result unless they are "managed" you can get to a situation where, decisions are difficult to make!!

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39 minutes ago, marshman said:

I am not taking sides at all, but running, or having run committees for many years, I have some sympathy - they are difficult to run and manage and you can have members who seem to think they have their own agendas to pursue. Inevitably as a result unless they are "managed" you can get to a situation where, decisions are difficult to make!!

Well I for one would not like to be on one of your committees then Marshman if that is the way you think they should be run.

"Chairing is a key role on any voluntary Committee. The Chairperson must ensure that the  Committee functions properly, that there is full participation during meetings, that all relevant matters are discussed and that effective decisions are made and carried out."

Although the Chairman may have a vote on such committee, no swaying of opinion should be made by said Chairman. Should allow flexibility and freedom of speech, ensure full participation and weigh up contributions impartially.

this does not seem to be the way in Yare House

 

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This was sent to all employees today, I thought members might be interested in another point of view.

Broads Authority Press Statement

The Broads Authority removed Mr James Knight from the Navigation Committee on 28 September 2018.

The decision follows an internal Code of Conduct complaint about repeated comments published by Mr Knight accusing staff of deliberately misleading Members. A full investigation by an independent barrister found no evidence to support Mr Knight’s serious public accusations.

The Broads Authority’s Hearings Committee carefully considered the barrister's report alongside evidence from Mr Knight and other witnesses before concluding that Mr Knight had breached the Authority's Code of Conduct. The Hearings Committee expressed the view that, although Mr Knight's actions were incompatible with his co-opted membership of the Authority's Navigation Committee, he should nevertheless be offered a final opportunity to retract his statements and apologise before recommending his removal. Mr Knight chose not to take the opportunity extended to him to draw a line under the matter leaving the Authority no alternative but to remove him.

Background note for Editors

Last summer Mr James Knight, a co-opted member of the Broads Authority’s Navigation Committee, publicly alleged that officers of the Authority had deliberately and wilfully misled the Planning Committee. Mr Knight’s allegations were thoroughly investigated and it was concluded that none of them had any substance. Mr Knight was asked four times to either substantiate his allegations or retract his comments. A Code of Conduct Complaint by another Member concerning the same matter was investigated by an independent barrister who concluded that there was no evidence to support Mr Knight’s assertion and that he had breached the Authority’s Code of Conduct in respect of Leadership and Equality and Respect.

On 12th September 2018 a panel of three Broads Authority Members, advised by an independent person, considered the complaint, the report of the independent barrister and evidence from Mr Knight and other witnesses. The Panel concluded that Mr Knight had failed to treat others, particularly the Authority’s officers, with respect. He was given 7 days to retract his comments and apologise. When this was not forthcoming the Panel felt that, if this was not forthcoming, it would have no alternative other than to recommend to the Authority that Mr Knight be removed from the Navigation Committee.

On Friday 28th September the Broads Authority Board considered the report of the Hearings Committee and the absence of a retraction and apology. The Board decided to remove Mr Knight from the Navigation Committee with immediate effect. A replacement will be appointed from the 1st April 2019 as part of the recruitment process for the Committee which is already underway.

Please note:

The hearings had to be taken in private because of Local Government provisions for the protection of officers and legal considerations due to the unjustified accusations of malfeasance against those officers, who were not parties to the complaint

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4 hours ago, kingfisher666 said:

You would have to assume, that those same MP's are now quite satisfied with the 'management style'. If, after five years, they were still not happy with the governance of the Broads Authority, then surely they would have been on to Michael Gove at DEFRA to make changes...

It is my opinion that the afforementioned Right Honourable member would struggle to change his own underpants without having a scapegoat in case of castastrophe. Sadly, I think the governance of DEFRA is as lacking as that of the Blessed Authority. 

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Thank you, Andy, that's a very quick response indeed. Of course there are always two sides to any story.  I do know that James wrote his blog several days ago, presumably so he could gain advice and have time to consider what he'd written. Having known James for several years now I will confirm that he is squeaky clean, nothing underhand or dishonest, a more principled person you'll be hard pushed to find. I have absolutely no reason to doubt the honesty of what James has written.

Marsh, re The Acle Debacle, apparently this has been discussed and decided behind closed doors. Let's just say that the outcome was nothing less than what was expected.

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21 minutes ago, Paul said:

It is my opinion that the afforementioned Right Honourable member would struggle to change his own underpants without having a scapegoat in case of castastrophe. Sadly, I think the governance of DEFRA is as lacking as that of the Blessed Authority. 

I certainly can't disagree with your opinion of the Right Honourable member for Surrey Heath... :10_wink:

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