New Suffolk chief pay sparks Tory revolt

JUST a handful of elected Tories are now needed to vote against the whopping salary offered to Suffolk's new chief.Tory county chiefs are facing an internal revolt over a controversial decision to offer Andrea Hill up to £220,000 to fill the post.

JUST a handful of elected Tories are now needed to vote against the whopping salary offered to Suffolk's new chief.

Tory county chiefs are facing an internal revolt over a controversial decision to offer Andrea Hill up to £220,000 to fill the post.

The huge salary, around £70,000 more than current chief executive Mike More earns, has provoked outcry among taxpayers while opposition politicians say they will attempt to scupper the bumper package.

It now appears the Tory administration's attempts to push the deal through at a meeting next week could come under pressure from members of its own group - a minimum of seven people are needed to vote against the move.


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Meanwhile the party's General Election candidate, Ben Gummer, has expressed “surprise” at the size of the salary.

A Conservative county councillor, who did not wish to be named, said members of the group have reservations about the pay offer.

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The councillor said: “There are questions being asked and I'm told there are people who are worried about it.

“There are people other than me who won't be supporting it, I'm pretty certain of that.”

The appointment has also been questioned by Ben Gummer, Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, who told the Star he is “surprised” by the £220,000 figure and “sympathises” with the concerns of taxpayers on the issue.

He added that the county council should have considered the possibility of a temporary internal appointment until the future of the county council is decided.

He said: “I have heard the concerns of the people on the doorsteps of Ipswich and have sympathy with them.

“I am surprised that the county council has moved so quickly to appoint a full time chief executive when there is no certainty over the future of the county council or any of the borough or district councils.

“It think the appointment has been made prematurely.”

“If Suffolk County Council goes for unitary, such a package might be appropriate but there is no indication they will go for that.”

A vital vote on the appointment of Andrea Hill will take place at a full meeting of Suffolk County Council next Thursday.

Labour politicians have said they will not oppose the appointment of Mrs Hill, but will attempt to ensure the salary package remains the same as it currently stands.

In a bid to gauge opinion prior to the crucial vote The Evening Star has sent copies of the paper to each of the current 74 county councillors asking them to indicate their views on the issue.

n. Should council chiefs pay up to £220,000 for a new boss? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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