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Derek Thompson Takes Over Thames Area Office

I mention Derek Thompson for the second time in just a few days to report that he has been appointed to take over the Thames Area Manager position previously occupied by Greg Hampton.

Derek and Greg come from the same Parks & Reserves background, but Derek has always been  the 'back-room' type - the quiet achiever who has beavered away getting Parks & Reserves up to scratch. He has always impressed me with his knowledge of the subject, and the results he achieved in the role.

It will be interesting to see how he handles the more public Area Manager role - he is a different 'kettle of fish' to Greg who tended to be 'out there,' and somewhat defensive when any of his bright ideas were questioned - he was nevertheless effective and achieved a great deal in the role. It is simply, in my view at least, that he went overboard with some of his more ambitious schemes hatched with the connivance of Strat Peters, and latterly with Dianne Connors, involving utterly dispensable consultants.

It is to be hoped that having secured the major (and extremely expensive) projects currently under way  that the Area Office can settle back into the somnolence that we once appreciated and respected. This town, with its extremely low average income needs major new projects like a hole in the head - with the exception of the swimming pool renewal of course! Rates are already ridiculous, and only likely to get worse as the result of the current Dry Court debacle become transparent, and broguht to account.

It would be as well for Rob Williams to to now take the opportunity to reduce staff at the Area Office to remove the temptation to invent new 'make-work' schemes requiring 'project managers' and the like. Derek will very adequately manage a smaller office to achieve more modest goals, and quiet satisfaction amongst our put upon constituents. The same goes for all the other offices.




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