Crit­ics round on pay to of­fi­cers

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By TARA DUN­DON

REV­E­LA­TIONS that Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s seven top of­fi­cers are be­ing paid a com­bined £1 mil­lion in salaries a year have been crit­i­cised by op­po­si­tion coun­cil­lors.

The Evening Tele­graph re­vealed yes­ter­day – fol­low­ing the re­lease of the coun­cil’s ac­counts for 2009/10 – that £944,605 was spent on salaries and pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions for the se­nior of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Gillian Beasley.

Leader of the coun­cil cllr Marco Cer­este de­fended the salaries, say­ing they were in line with other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and the of­fi­cers worked hard for the city. But op­po­si­tion lead­ers and MPs for the city now say they strongly be­lieve there should be a re­view over pay.

Leader of the English Democrats cllr Stephen Gold­spink said the city coun­cil should be mov­ing to­wards per­for­mance re­lated pay based on cor­po­rate ob­jec­tives, so that se­nior of­fi­cers can be mon­i­tored on how they are do­ing.

He said: “It is no good cllr Cer­este say­ing they are do­ing a good job and they have won the coun­cil lots of awards if the peo­ple on the street don’t agree. This way, the pub­lic would be able to see what is go­ing on and make up their minds for them­selves whether the pay is jus­ti­fied.”

Leader of the Labour group in Peter­bor­ough, Councillor Nazim Khan said: “I feel that the amount Gillian Beasley is paid, is jus­ti­fied – she does a lot of good work for the city. How­ever, the oth­ers I don’t agree with.”

He said di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions Paul Phillip­son did not have many front­line ser­vices to over­see as many have been out­sourced.

He added: “We have hardly any front­line ser­vices and, with city ser­vices and IT soon to be pri­va­tised, what is there apart from plan­ning and neigh­bour­hoods for Paul Phillip­son to do?”

Lib­eral Demo­crat, Councillor Nick Sand­ford said he felt that the of­fi­cers should, at the very least, take a pay freeze.

MP for Peter­bor­ough, Ste­wart Jack­son, added: “The leader of the coun­cil and his cabi­net must re­mem­ber that we are go­ing through a very dif­fi­cult pe­riod with or­di­nary fam­i­lies hav­ing to tighten their belts and the prospect of fur­ther cuts in pub­lic spend­ing, when pay­ing se­nior of­fi­cers.”

Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cam­bridgeshire, said to­day’s emer­gency bud­get may re­sult in pub­lic sec­tor pay changes.

He said: “There are tough times ahead for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing top pub­lic sec­tor work­ers. The Con­ser­va­tives have al­ready spo­ken about a pub­lic sec­tor pay freeze, but we will have to wait and see what is in the Chan­cel­lor’s Emer­gency Bud­get.”

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