Clause for concern

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It wasn’t a front page splash, but tucked away on page 3 (Bury Free Press, February 3) was the commendable decision of retiring council chief executives to fall upon their swords and give up combined salaries of £ 227,000 to make way for one joint chief executive.

I would like to assist the council spokeswoman who said: “It is not possible to say at this stage what the costs will be.”

From my understanding of redundancy law (www.direct.gov.uk/redundancy.dsb) our chief executive will be entitled to maximum statutory redundancy pay of £1,935. This represents marvellous value for tax payers.

Unfortunately, the cynic in me suggests that Mr Rivers probably has one of those fancy contracts of employment with a clause entitling him to rather more than that (Groucho Marx would have referred to it as the ‘Sanity Clause’).

Will we find ourselves paying out for both a new joint executive and the redundancy package for the old executive in the same year. A double whammy for cashflow at a time when Cllr Griffiths reiterates Council Tax income is again frozen.

It looks like someone else will have to pay the price. Someone like those valiant Abbey Garden toilet attendants who faced the chop a year or so ago: I wonder if they had a sanity clause in their contracts?

Just suppose Charles Dickens was attending his own bicentennial celebration at the Angel Hotel this week – would he be moved to quote

Mr Micawber: “Annual Income twenty pounds,

Annual Expenditure twenty pounds ought and six,

Result: Misery.”

Keith Chapman,

Bury St Edmunds.