The Mother of all Titles for top council official. What are the rest doing – playing video games?

by Colin Campbell

WE know about the fancy titles with obscure meanings which are awarded to senior council officials these days.

Allan Gunn has now been appointed by Highland Council as “Executive Chief Officer – Communities and Place”, Glenurquhart Road HQ has announced.

Would that be your place or mine?

The council’s Communities and Place Service is apparently responsible for: amenities and public conveniences; bereavement and crematorium services; city and ward management and community support co-ordination; community engagement; community planning and community asset transfers; customer and registrar services; environmental health; the council’s stores, logistics, fleet and plant; tackling poverty, inequality and human rights; and waste strategy, operations and street cleaning.

Will Alan Gunn also have all that on the title nameplate on his office door?

A mere door couldn’t handle it. It would stretch halfway down the corridor.

It’s quite a mix of responsibilities. To say Mr Gunn has his hands full would be something of an understatement.

And how was this delegation of responsibilities arrived at? Did they put all the tags in a lottery style revolving ball and see what would pour out when it stopped?

Mr Gunn is in charge of the region’s toilets.

He is also in charge of the council’s stance on poverty and human rights.

That doesn’t strike me as a very likely pairing of responsibilities.

How do you switch your focus on the provision of facilities for peeing in remote areas to “poverty, inequality and human rights” without breaking into a sweat? Never mind bereavement, waste strategy, street cleaning and all the rest of it?

Maybe Mr Gunn is capable of performing such extraordinary mental gymnastics. But I have my doubts.

And maybe a council press release was deliberately issued with this information to show what a mass of responsibilities senior officials have to deal with to earn their very large salaries.

Poor, overworked dears.

If that is the case, and it seems quite likely to me, then it hasn’t worked.

This mass bundle of council responsibilities falling on the shoulders of one man doesn’t sound impressive. It sounds ridiculous.

What are all the other very high earners at the council doing while Mr Gunn is apparently trying to sort out the entire world and its woes single handed? Playing video games on their mobile phones?

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