mick lavertyChief Executive of Advantage West Midlands (AWM), Mick Laverty, was made redundant when the government closed the regional development agencies. Under his leadership, AWM was rated as the best performing Regional Development Agency by the National Audit Office. Duncan Tift wrote an even-handed review of AWM’s record in March last year.

According to investigative journalist David Hencke, AWM’s closure contributed to Britain’s downturn outside London and the South East with inward investment dropping drastically, particularly in the North and Midlands.

He records an ‘amazing £60m in payouts to the 2300 staff, according to a report from IPPR North’. Detail in the Birmingham Post includes the information that twelve executives from Advantage West Midlands walked away with payoffs of more than £100,000 funded by the taxpayer. Hencke adds that AWM’s last accounts record that Mr Laverty got some £351,000 including a redundancy award of £140,772 , in the last 15 months in the job.

The rationale: the Department of Business Innovation and Science said that none of these highly paid ‘mandarins’ would get new jobs in Whitehall, but BIS then approved Mr Laverty’s appointment as Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company. He returned an £82,117 redundancy payment to the Treasury without public comment, but Hencke reports that people who know Mr Laverty say he believes it was the right thing to do as he was only six months without a job.

The journalist’s tribute:

“(T)he snatch it all culture from money grabbing bonus seeking bankers and utility bosses, and golden goodbyes for multi-billionaires dominates the media . . .

“If only some of our other big fat cats in Whitehall, local government and the banks thought the same (as Mick Laverty) Britain might be a fairer place.

Read Hencke’s much livelier account: http://davidhencke.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/exclusive-the-shy-mandarin-who-gave-back-half-his-redundo-to-the-treasury/