Pay increase for council leaders to be implemented a year later than planned
A controversial increase in salary bands for the leadership team at West Suffolk councils will be implemented a year later than initially proposed.
The increase was due to come into effect from April 1, 2018 but Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said at a meeting on Tuesday night that it would be deferred by a year to allow for a review of the pay structure of the entire workforce.
Among the increases, Ian Gallin, joint chief executive, who is currently paid at the top of his wage band at £121,091, will have a revised band of £130,000 to £142,500.
Councillors approved the new salary ranges with 29 in favour, seven against and three abstaining.
Cllr Paul Hopfensperger said the increase ‘sends out all the wrong signals’ when residents just want their services to be delivered.
Cllr Trevor Beckwith said it ‘doesn’t send the right message’ following years of austerity.
Cllr David Nettleton said the ‘key element’ was the deferral which ‘gives time for an investigation into all the other pay bands’.
Cllr Griffiths said as a ‘responsible employer’ it was right that they review pay structures and pointed to a report by the East of England Local Government Association.
The report said ‘similar roles in other councils have overtaken West Suffolk in terms of pay and reward’ which ‘presents a risk in recruiting and retaining key staff’.