Stockport Times East - - YOUR VIEWS - Stephen Dil­lon Ad­dress sup­plied Nick Clarke chair­man and founder StrokeIn­for­ma­ Mr D Hinde Marple

AC­CORD­ING to the 2014 ex­pen­di­ture re­port pub­lished on its web­site we, Stock­port’s tax­pay­ers, pay our ten most se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cers a to­tal of £1,313,000 per an­num.

This equates to an av­er­age an­nual re­mu­ner­a­tion pack­age of £131,000 each at a time when, ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of Na­tional Statis­tics, the UK av­er­age salary is around £27,000.

It seems the idea of public ser­vice as a vo­ca­tion is a myth – it is clearly a smart ca­reer move for those with the am­bi­tion to earn around five times the na­tional av­er­age wage.

With­out in­tend­ing to im­pugn the in­tegrity or abil­i­ties of our ten best-paid coun­cil em­ploy­ees, it de­fies com­mon sense that we couldn’t fill th­ese posts with public-spir­ited in­di­vid­u­als, suit­ably qual­i­fied, who could do the job at a frac­tion, let’s say half, of what we cur­rently pay.

Be­fore the hack­neyed ar­gu­ments along the lines of ‘if you want the best, you have to pay the best’ are trot­ted out, does any­one re­ally imag­ine that in a town with a pop­u­la­tion of 280,000 peo­ple we re­ally can’t find ten who could com­pe­tently fill th­ese po­si­tions at a salary of, say, £65,000 per an­num?

We al­ready have a sig­nif­i­cant vol­un­teer sec­tor – 450 of whom work at Step­ping Hill Hos­pi­tal – with no other mo­tive than the public good, which is surely the first qual­ity re­quired in a se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cer.

Dis­en­chant­ment with lo­cal and na­tional pol­i­tics is at record lev­els for good

Our cor­re­spon­dent is ques­tion­ing top town hall pay. See ‘They say and we re­ally pay’ rea­son and it’s clearly time for rad­i­cal re­form.

As a start­ing point it would be re­fresh­ing to see our coun­cil run on non-po­lit­i­cal lines by those whose only al­le­giance is to the peo­ple of Stock­port and whose pri­mary duty is to gather its tax rev­enue and spend it as ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble.

Pay­ing salaries such as those de­scribed is only one ex­am­ple of where they fail in that duty.

Per­haps it’s time the peo­ple of Stock­port joined to­gether and formed a lo­cal gov­ern­ment re­form move­ment sim­ply ded­i­cated to gath­er­ing and dis­pers­ing our taxes in a sane and sen­si­ble man­ner? as dis­ap­point­ing news for those con­cerned or users of the ser­vices, how­ever the de­ci­sion was not down to the coun­cil fund­ing alone.

If the reader wanted to check on Com­pa­nies House, they would see that the char­ity could fund the of­fices in Stock­port and in­deed the whole coun­try.

As one user wit­nessed, their head of op­er­a­tions say: “They did not ac­tu­ally re­ceive a lot of fund­ing from the coun­cil any­way, more­over the fund­ing the coun­cil gave the as­so­ci­a­tion was only a small por­tion.”

Granted, the news that they have closed their ser­vices in Stock­port is bad news for some peo­ple, but for oth­ers, like our group try­ing to get char­ity sta­tus, it is good news be­cause we can plug some of the gap left by the as­so­ci­a­tion.

I have heard and seen a lot of bad press about the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion and I for one have to dis­agree.

I per­son­ally just think that a lot of peo­ple are mis­lead.

StrokeIn­for­ma­tion is based in Stock­port and we wish to help oth­ers im­pacted by stroke, in­clud­ing their fam­i­lies and car­ers.

We are four stroke sur­vivors and we are a not-for-profit con­sti­tu­tion. in his grave know­ing the rich stole from the poor.

What a pity the peo­ple of Stock­port don’t ban Peel shop­ping cen­tre, but then it’s noth­ing to do with them is it.

A one man ban would have no ef­fect on the park­ing, although one must try.

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