Coun­cil bosses earn more than Tony Blair

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - SOUNDS GOOD - by Paul Francis

Kent chief named as top coun­cil earner

TWO of Kent County Coun­cil’s direc­tors are among the high­est-paid coun­cil bosses in the coun­try, earn­ing more than Tony Blair.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Gil­roy earned nearly £230,000 last year, mak­ing him the high­est-paid coun­cil chief in Eng­land.

Mr Gil­roy, who has been chief ex­ec­u­tive since 2005, earned more than £43,000 more than the Prime Min­is­ter for man­ag­ing the largest county coun­cil in the coun­try.

Mean­while, ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor Gra­ham Badman, the man in charge of Kent’s 600-plus schools, was paid just un­der £190,000.

The salaries of three other se­nior of­fi­cers also topped £100,000 in 2005-2006.

Strate­gic plan­ning di­rec­tor Peter Raine and so­cial ser­vices di­rec­tor Oliver Mills both earned £139,999, while county sec­re­tary Ge­off Wild earned £119,000.

The fig­ures were re­leased to pres­sure group the Tax­pay­ers’ Al­liance un­der the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act.

Con­ser­va­tive county coun­cil leader Cllr Paul Carter mounted a strong defence of the amounts paid to Mr Gil­roy and Mr Badman.

“Kent County Coun­cil is a mas­sive or­gan­i­sa­tion and the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of th­ese jobs are enor­mous,” he said.

“Kent needs to at­tract the very best peo­ple to run ser­vices, and if you want the best, you have to pay the best.”

Cllr Carter said Mr Gil­roy had proved his worth when Kent was named the sec­ond-best-per­form­ing county coun­cil in the coun­try last month.

“The Au­dit Com­mis­sion gave us the high­est four-star rat­ing for the way we run our ser­vices,” Cllr Carter added.

“A lot of that is down to the lead­er­ship of Peter and the chief of­fi­cers.”

And he em­pha­sised that KCC was the largest ed­u­ca­tion author­ity in the coun­try and was in the mid­dle of a mas­sive school re­fur­bish­ment pro­gramme.

Enor­mous

“We com­pare favourably if you look at the salaries paid by or­gan­i­sa­tions like the BBC, Trans­port for Lon­don and the Royal Mail,” Cllr Carter added.

“We are com­pet­ing with other ar­eas of the pub­lic sec­tor.”

But the dis­clo­sure was not well­re­ceived by unions rep­re­sent­ing county coun­cil staff, 190 of whom may lose their jobs as the coun­cil makes bud­get cuts.

KCC Uni­son branch sec­re­tary David Lloyd said: “It is de­mor­al­is­ing for staff. Some of our mem­bers are aghast.

“At a time when jobs and ser­vices are un­der threat and we are in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion over pen­sions, it is not hard to see why.”

Tax­pay­ers’ Al­liance chair­man Andrew Allum added: “Thou­sands of pen­sion­ers are hav­ing to choose be­tween heat­ing their homes and pay­ing their coun­cil tax bills.

“It is an in­sult to their dig­nity that so much money goes down the drain on top salaries for coun­cil staff.”

What do you think? Write to us at 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, Kent TN24 8JR, email ken­tish­ex­press@thekmg roup.co.uk or visit the Speak Out sec­tion on our web­site, www.ken­ton­line.co.uk

Pic­ture John Ward­ley

KCC chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Gil­roy, who earned £230,000 last year

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