Friday, July 01, 2005

Anger at company move by assembly

Anger at company move by assembly
by Neil Hunter,
Northern Echo

THE leaders of a controversial unelected regional assembly are planning to turn the organisation into a limited company to protect members from legal action.

The move - dismissed by critics last night as a way to avoid public scrutiny - will involve the appointment of a director on a £70,000-a-year salary.

Details of the status switch by the North East Assembly were revealed at its annual meeting at the Stockton campus of the University of Durham yesterday.

New chairman Alex Watson told members that the post of director would be advertised next month and the successful applicant should start work next January.

Interim director Paul Wilding said the assembly becoming a company "limited by guarantee" would protect members being individually liable should someone sue the organisation.

But critic Neil Heron warned the move could make it difficult for the public to hold the assembly accountable for its spending or decision-making.

Mr Heron, who campaigned against an elected regional assembly ahead of last November's referendum, said: "When public money is being used, there has to be openness and transparency but with limited companies there does not.

"Here we have ratepayers of the North-East funding a body no one wants and now they are taking it out of scrutiny and accountability and shrouding it in deception and that's not acceptable when it's public money."

Councillor Watson, who is also leader of Derwentside District Council, replaced Coun Bob Gibson, also leader of Stockton Borough Council, as chairman of the assembly at yesterday's meeting.

He defended the £70,000 salary for a chief executive, saying: "It's a high-profile and significant job."

The assembly also came under fire from two members - Dorothy Luke and Olivia Grant - because no women were selected for important posts.

Mrs Grant revealed that the selection panel for the chief executive was likely to be made up of four men, and said: "I don't think that's appropriate in this day and age."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interim director Paul Wilding said the assembly becoming a company "limited by guarantee" would protect members being individually liable should someone sue the organisation.

I don't know who the shareholders are (usually referred to as members of a company), but limited by guarantee doesn't protect the shareholders from individual liability at all; quite the reverse. Limited by guarantee means the shareholders are providing a personal guarantee for the company.

It is only a company limited by shares which has a limit on shareholder liability.

Dream Builder said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
What a Great Blog! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a legit work at home business
site. It pretty much covers legit work at home business
related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

Blog Archive


only search Neil Herron Blog