UNIONS last night welcomed the departure of Southampton council chief executive Alistair Neill.
A Unison newsletter criticised his handling of an industrial dispute at the council last summer including among other things challenging the right to strike.
The council’s largest union accused him of “lecturing” officials on basic economics over the controversial staff pay cuts brought in by Conservatives and taking an abrasive approach during negotiations to settle the pay dispute.
The newsletter said union members did not share an assessment by Tories that Mr Neill had done a “tremendous” job in his £165,000 a year post.
And it said unions looked forward to a new chief executive who understood the need to consult and negotiate with staff representatives.
Mr Neill, 55, will be leaving the council in March after two-and-a-half years to become the chief executive of Tory led Herefordshire County Council.