Out­cry as top coun­cil of­fi­cers are awarded 20pc pay rise

Macclesfield Express - - TOUGH NEW POWERS TO RECLAIM ‘NO-GO AREA’ - STU­ART GREER

FOUR bosses at Cheshire East Coun­cil are to re­ceive pay rises of up to 20 per cent.

The mas­sive pay hikes in­clude the chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer’s (COO) salary, which will jump from £110k to £135k per year.

Oth­ers in­clude the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for eco­nomic growth and pros­per­ity, from £110k to £120k, the head of le­gal ser­vices and mon­i­tor­ing of­fi­cer, from £75k to £90k, and the di­rec­tor of adult ser­vices from £95k to £110k.

The move fol­lows a re­struc­ture which axed the £125,000 role of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for strate­gic com­mis­sion­ing.

All other coun­cil staff re­ceived an an­nual pay rise of one per cent this year.

The new salaries were passed at a coun­cil meet­ing last Thurs­day.

Coun­cil leader Michael Jones said: “We have got some of the finest of­fi­cers in the coun­try and we should re­ward them. We are not pay­ing higher sala- ries than any au­thor­ity, we’re just giv­ing them what they are worth and not above it. This is the right thing to do.”

But the pro­pos­als came un­der fire from Coun­cil­lor Amanda Stott, an in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor rep­re­sent­ing Bolling­ton.

She said: “For Michael Jones to say that pay rises in the re­gion of 20 per cent for a small num­ber of of­fi­cers was jus­ti­fied be­cause ‘they work hard’ is shock­ing.

“There are many who work hard at Cheshire East Coun­cil and in most cases have re­ceived a mea­gre one per cent pay rise.

“Just be­cause a se­nior of­fi­cer left should not mean that their salary is shared out amongst a few – it could have been shared out over a wider group – or saved.

“I did not sup­port these pay in­creases as I felt that the peo­ple who elected me would not ap­prove of any gov­ern­ment em­ployee re­ceiv­ing 20 per cent ex­tra in their pay packet, whilst ser­vices to res­i­dents are be­ing re­duced.”

In a re­port to the coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive, Mike Suarez said the pay rises were jus­ti­fied be­cause of­fi­cers had taken on ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity from the axed di­rec­tor role.

But Coun Sam Cor­co­ran dis­agreed.

He said: “Some of the pay in­creases are more than many peo­ple earn in to­tal a year.”

In 2013 the coun­cil over­hauled its man­age­ment struc­ture to save £5m. The move was in the wake of the Lyme Green scan­dal, which was blamed partly on its ‘or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture’.

●● Coun­cil leader Michael Jones de­fended the move

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