New council chief is likely to earn £160,000

andrea hill SCC chief executive
andrea hill SCC chief executive
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THE new chief executive of Suffolk County Council could earn about £160,000 - significantly less than their controversial predecessor Andrea Hill.

However, they could receive a bonus on top of their guaranteed wage if annual targets are met.

The salary scale for the new chief executive will be agreed by the authority’s appointments committee on Monday.

It is also expected to approve a business case to plan the recruitment of an interim chief executive, who will serve for up to six months until a permanent replacement is found.

The earnings of the authority’s chief executive provoked a public furore in recent years after Mrs Hill annually pocketed £218,000.

A report to the committee recommends the salary is reduced from the current bracket of £157,788-£225,390 and suggests it could be in the region of £160,000.

There would also be an additional performance related payment if certain targets are met, which would be determined by a new performance management system.

The report, written by head of strategic HR Sally Marlow, says that changes to the salary scale are needed because of financial pressures on the council, value for money considerations and regular comparisons between the pay levels for chief executives of local authorities and that of the Prime Minister.

She also cited media coverage of senior pay levels and noted that ‘further to recent national media attention, the council’s pay levels may attract more attention than normal’.

It is estimated the appointment of a new chief could take up to six months taking into account the recruitment campaign and allowing the successful candidate to give notice.

Meanwhile, the interim post holder will be expected to make ‘significant progress’ in achieving £50 million in savings in the next two years, overhauling services and cutting overhead costs.

Their pay is likely to be towards the bottom end of the salary scale, which starts at £157,778.

According to a summary of salary benchmarking in the report, chief executives of local authorities in the UK, on average, earn £147,934.

The national average for males in county councils is £191,983 with £189,158 for females.

More than 40 per cent of all local authority chief executives are paid salary and fees above £150,000.

County council chief executives in the South East attract the highest salary at £204,162 on average.