Sir John Banham’s work for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) cost the Council £2k a day, it has been reported.
Figures revealed in a Freedom of Information request show that Cornwall Council received invoices totalling £45k from chemicals company Johnson Matthey, which Sir John chairs, to recompense the 22 days he spent away working for the LEP.
Sir John’s work as interim chairman for the upcoming LEP included a draft prospectus, which received a decidedly lukewarm reception from local business groups.
It has since been revealed that Sir John will have an unpaid ‘ambassadorial’ role, while the chairman’s role is being advertised.
According to the Council, Sir John’s usual Johnson Matthey daily rate is £4k, so it got something of a bargain. However, Liberal Democrat councillor Ann Kerridge is decidedly unimpressed. She is quoted by the BBC: “When services to vulnerable people are being slashed and ordinary employees of the Council are sacrificing pay and conditions to protect their jobs it must stick in their throat that we are being asked to squander £45k.”
Chief executive Kevin Lavery retorted: “Sir John was very clear that because he was doing some work for us at short notice he had to drop some work for his company, Johnson Matthey.
“If you’re asking people to do a big job I don’t think you should be afraid of paying them for it.”