Ipswich chief executive Russell Williams set for 17% salary increase

Ipswich council chief executive Russell Williams. Picture: DAVID GARRAD

Ipswich council chief executive Russell Williams. Picture: DAVID GARRAD

Ipswich council chief executive is set to see his salary rise by 17% if councillors agree to a new pay package at their meeting next week.

Mr Williams, who has run the authority for nine years, currently earns £99,999 a year. The proposals would put his new salary in the range of £117,000-£123,000 a year. It is understood that he would be paid the lower figure, backdated to April this year.

His deputy, chief operating officer Helen Pluck, would see her salary increase from £83,000 a year to just under £93,000 in a scale rising to just under £99,000 a year.

The proposed salary scales were drawn up, and unanimously approved, by a panel of the three party leaders at the borough – Labour council leader David Ellesmere, Conservative Ian Fisher and Inga Lockington from the Liberal Democrats.

They point out that Mr Williams’ salary would still be lower than other district or borough council chief executives in Suffolk or of other similar authorities.

Stephen Baker who is chief of East Suffolk (Suffolk Coastal and Waveney) is on £130,634 a year, the chief executive of the new West Suffolk Council (St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath) will be paid between £130,000 and £142,000) and Arthur Charvonia who is chief executive of Mid Suffolk and Babergh is on between £115,000 and £120,000 a year.

Norwich City chief executive Laura McGillivray is paid between £121,000 and £132,000 a year. Suffolk County Council chief executive Nicola Beach is paid £170,000 a year.

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Mr Ellesmere said it was necessary to look at senior salaries because the pay of Ipswich council employees had fallen behind other authorities.

He said: “We have seen a number of senior staff leave for better-paid jobs elsewhere. In fact some have gone to better paid jobs across the road at Mid Suffolk and Babergh.

“We are aware that if senior officials leave it would be difficult to recruit the right calibre of replacement unless we are able to offer a competitive salary.”

While Ipswich has the only stand-alone chief executive in Suffolk, that was necessary because the urban nature of the council means it faces different pressures to more rural districts.