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Is Chief Executive post value for money?

September 17, 2013 9:00 AM

RCT Council is advertising for a new Chief Executive following the announcement by Keith Griffiths that he is to retire in March after ten years in the job and a long career within the Local Authority during which he worked his way up to the top having started as a trainee accountant.

The post is being advertised with a salary of £141,730, although pension and other benefits make the post much more lucrative. It is not an unusual amount for a post of this nature, in fact there are some Local Authorities paying substantially more, but many struggling in the current economic climate may be asking if it is acceptable.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell says

"The focus of public attention is all too often on the amount that elected members receive, and there is sometimes justifiable criticism levelled at individuals with regard to value for money. The amounts paid to those employed in public service seem to go un-noticed in the main. Whilst those at the front line are often quite poorly paid, middle and upper level management salaries cannot be justified in comparison.

"The salary figure does not tell the full story as there are additional pension and other benefits which bolster this, plus for example sums of up to £17,000 have been paid for acting as returning officer for each election - even though the actual work is done by others. The Labour Councillors in RCT are happy for this to continue.

"Even just going on the basic salary figure though the Chief Executive of RCT will be paid just a few hundred pounds short of what the Prime Minister receives, and more than £10,000 above what is paid to a UK Cabinet Minister. Surely this cannot be acceptable?"

"RCT is not alone in this, similar high salaries, indeed even more inflated amounts, are paid by Local Authorities across Wales, and not just to the Chief Executive. We pay out in the region of £100,000 for example for legal and human resource Directors and still have to buy in outside support for all manner of things.

"The Chief Executive is supposed to provide a strategic overview, and yet RCT Labour Council created a Director of Strategy post.

"At a time when everyone else is looking to cut back and front line workers are having their terms and conditions altered and wages frozen or cut then it is time that the wages paid to public sector management were scrutinised more fully, not only in RCT and Local Government but across the board."

NOTES:

The combined ministerial and parliamentary salary of the Prime Minister is £142,500 at April 2013. This figure includes the parliamentary salary of £66,396

The combined ministerial and parliamentary salary of a Cabinet minister is £134,565 at April 2013. This figure includes the parliamentary salary of £66,396

Pension costs for the Chief Exec are around £29K pa