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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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Bonuses and allowances compensate council bosses for pay cuts


Local authority bosses were compensated for promised pay cuts last year by having their bonuses and allowances boosted instead.

The move came despite calls by Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, for town hall chiefs to take a 10% wage reduction.
An analysis of accounts published by 128 of the largest council’s in England and Wales undertaken by the Daily Telegraph revealed that the average chief executive’s pay packet was £186,872, although nearly half took home more than £200,000.
The highest paid was Joanna Killian, joint chief executive of Essex and Brentwood councils, who received £289,143, an increase of £4,000. Essex County Council’s draft accounts for 2010-11 indicated that, although her basic salary may have fallen by £4,000, she received an additional £6,900 bonus, £815 in expenses and a £4,021 pension contribution.
Killian’s total package rose as Conservative-led Essex announced that 450 jobs were to go in order to help it save £98 million. But a spokesman said that her work ultimately saved taxpayers’ money.
The second highest paid town hall chief was Geoff Alltimes. He earned a total of £281,666 as head of Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council and Primary Care Trust, again according to draft accounts.
Despite a pay freeze across the local authority, Alltimes took home £11,193 more than in 2009 after receiving a supplementary payment for acting as returning officer in the local and general elections. A spokesman said that his basic pay had not changed and the supplementary payment was a result of “the system”.
The news came to light as it was revealed that the public sector spent more than £22 million on staff carrying out trade union activities last year.
The figures included local authority expenditure of £15.1 million to fund teaching union representation and £2.5 million provided by the Home Office to cover union reps working for the UK Border Agency, the Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau among others.
The Public and Commercial Services union told the Daily Express that trade union activities helped to save taxpayers money into the long-term by helping to resolve staff disputes that would otherwise result in expensive legal cases.
But Conservative MP Dominic Raab complained that the situation was resulting in millions of pounds of public money “being squandered” when it should be diverted into front line services.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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