A question that many people ask, especially when they get annoyed with the council or when my salary is highlighted annually in the press.
I remember when the paper asked a few members of the public about my salary. All of them said I was paid too much. One chap in particular summed it up for me when he said he had never heard of Mr Pritchard, did not know what I did but still thought my salary was too much!!!
And why wouldn’t you.
So what do I do?
Well I am called the Head of the Paid Service but most people know me as Chief Executive of the Council.
I am responsible for the 900 staff that work for the council; the performance of the services we provide; the spend in year against the budget set; and the conduct of people who work for us.
A core part of my role is to provide leadership to my colleagues and I am also the principal adviser to the Council and the Cabinet – if you attend any of these public meetings then you’ll see me there.
Additionally I undertake strategic functions from being on the District Councils’ Network which represents 201 district councils and I’m a member of the Haven Gateway Partnership Board which looks to enhance the economic sub region of North Essex and South Suffolk. I am invited to speak at national conferences and regional events too.
Being in a strategic position with these responsibilities I am always thinking about what the Council needs to do in the future from government legislation, Full Council policy decisions and the needs both present and future of our residents, businesses and visitors.
It is important for me to deal with reputational issues too, which ultimately means sorting problems and promoting the Borough.
My work isn’t just with Colchester Borough Council as we have a number of partners within the voluntary sector, and public sector partners like the University, Hospital, the County Council, Institute, etc and I meet with the private sector businesses, developers, investors and entrepreneurs both current and future.
In my spare time I respond to the 60 or so emails I get a day (my PA deals with the rest) and I deal with the elections. See my earlier post for this.
Oh and I write an internal and external blog and a monthly Gazette column.
As I mentioned I am expected to attend Full Council and Cabinet meetings plus the odd Trading Board or Scrutiny Panel together with a range of civic functions with the Mayor. Outside of the public meetings I also attend a range of internal meetings with the Cabinet, Group Leaders and the Senior Management Team.
Crikey I am quite out of breath. Must remember to go home some days! Not really because I do all of this with and through the great people that work for the Council. If you knew the extra miles our staff go to in order to deliver the services they do I am sure you would be proud like me.
I could not ask for a better group of colleagues I work with or a better job to do and I certainly won’t be asking for a salary review any time soon.