Maverick hiring practices suggest Mayor Red Trousers fully intends to take a firm grasp of matters in his office
The direct appointment of former Destination Bristol PR hackette ZOE SEAR as Mayor’s Assistant on a generous £45k-a-year whack by kindly uncle figure and noted bachelor-around-town George Ferguson has raised a few eyebrows – not least for the absence of any competitive recruitment process for the post.
Mayor Gorgeous batted any criticism aside, however, claiming he was entitled to directly appoint an assistant under the provisions of the Local Authorities (Elected Mayor and Mayor’s Assistant) (England) Regulations 2002.
And he’s absolutely correct. However, the same legislation – backed up by the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 – also makes it clear that the post is POLITICALLY RESTRICTED, meaning that Zoe should not take part in any party political activities.
So how come Zoe is listed with the Electoral Commission as the Nominating Officer for George’s political party VANITY PROJECT, Bristol 1st? Does she intend to continue as both Uncle George’s personal media guru and his party functionary? And how will she manage to fit in her duties as the Mayor’s £865-per-week bag carrier whilst still managing her own marketing consultancy Tonic?
With all this going on it seems likely that Zoe may let her directorial obligations at her quietly forebearing hubby’s ad agency slide a little…
Especially as Mr Ferguson and Mrs Sear are bound together in some ‘fresh’ moves of their own by playing hard and loose with the law barely three months into Bristol’s brave new world of municipal mayoralty…