Council chiefs could get pay boost

COUNTY council chiefs at Endeavour House are set for a salary bonanza sparked by two new appointments, The Evening Star can reveal today.Suffolk County Council is to get a new head of children's services – who could earn up to £120,000 a year.

COUNTY council chiefs at Endeavour House are set for a salary bonanza sparked by two new appointments, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Suffolk County Council is to get a new head of children's services – who could earn up to £120,000 a year.

And that could create a domino effect with other senior directors also seeing their salaries increase substantially.

The biggest winner could be chief executive Mike More whose salary – which was between £100,000 and £110,000 last year – could leap to more than £130,000.

That has not gone down well among other council employees whose salaries have increased by 2.75 per cent this year.

Another controversy surrounds the appointment of a replacement for chief fire officer Malcolm Alcock.

Most Read

He is due to retire at the end of the year – and his post is being advertised as the county's director of public protection with responsibility for the trading standards department as well as the fire service.

That post will carry with it a salary of about £100,000 a year – but it is a legal requirement for a fire authority to have a chief fire officer, so someone else will have to be appointed.

A senior council insider said: "Mr Alcock is director as well as being chief fire officer – but if someone is appointed to the top job who is not from a fire background then someone else will have to be appointed chief fire officer.

"You can no more have a fire authority without a fully-trained chief fire officer than you can have a police authority without a chief constable."

The "going rate" for a chief fire officer is about £90,000 a year.

The Star understands that two senior figures from Suffolk fire service are to be interviewed for the post – along with two other people. The appointment is due to be announced by the end of this month.

The appointment of a director of children's services was a recommendation of Lord Laming's report into the death of Victoria Climbié.

The government has said all councils with responsibility for children must make such an appointment by 2008.

The director will have overall responsibility for all children's services – including education and social services.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said other councils were making similar appointments at present.

He said: "Across the country £120,000 a year does seem to be the usual sort of figure quoted – although it has caused controversy elsewhere."

The proposed salaries have caused concern among Liberal Democrat members of the county council.

They are part of the administration at Endeavour House, but senior councillors have been told about grass-root concerns among rank-and-file councillors.

The increases have also provoked fury among campaigners against high council tax rises.

Reg Hartles from the pressure group Protest Against Council Tax in Suffolk said: "This kind of spending on top salaries looks almost criminal – it is an appalling example.

"How top people can give themselves this kind of salary, I don't know – it used to be said that people in public services got less salary than those in the private sector but they got better benefits and pensions.

"Now it seems they want both."

What do you think of the salary increases? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter