Tories who could stop £220k jackpot
THESE are the elected Tories who today hold the fate of a controversial £220,000 appointment in their hands.Members of Suffolk County Council were due to meet this afternoon to decide whether 44-year-old Andrea Hill should be appointed as the authority's new chief executive on a salary up to £70,000 more than predecessor Mike More.
FORTY-TWO elected Tories today hold the fate of a controversial £220,000 appointment in their hands.
Members of Suffolk County Council were due to meet this afternoon to decide whether 44-year-old Andrea Hill should be appointed as the authority's new chief executive on a salary up to £70,000 more than predecessor Mike More.
Amid calls for councillors to rally against the wage increase, it has emerged:
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Mrs Hill is leaving a post that is to be scrapped anyway
Her salary package tops that of prime minister Gordon Brown who earns £189,000
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She could be in line for a big redundancy payout if Suffolk County Council gets abolished as a result of local government changes
An internal probe was launched following claims the council flouted rules governing the appointment process
Council spending has come under fresh scrutiny following revelations around £6,500 was splashed out on officer team-building activities, including chocolate- making and drumming lessons
Opposition politicians were today expected to attempt to scupper the bumper salary in a bid to save tax payers thousands of pounds, but to succeed they will need a handful of Tories to join them.
Pressure for Tories to vote against the move increased after concerns were raised about the way a new chief executive was selected and the manner in which changing the salary increase came about.
The council's Labour group claims the controversial salary increase was not done by the book as any rise should have been
considered prior to the start of the selection process.
The situation was investigated by the council's independent monitoring officer, but a council spokesman said no breaches were found.
Kevan Lim, deputy leader of Suffolk County Council's Labour group, said: “I am disappointed by this decision.
“The proposed increase in salary is obscene and can never be justified.
“The monitoring officer has acknowledged that the correct procedures were not followed.
“In the circumstances we believe the decision should have been stopped. To allow them to push through this large salary increase risks giving local government a bad name.”
A council spokesman said claims the process was flawed were “at best erroneous”.
A Star web poll this month revealed close to 90 per cent of people believe a salary of up to £220,000 is too much for the new chief executive.
It is understood a number of Tory councillors share the public's concern.
It would take a minimum of seven of them to potentially vote down the pay package.
Despite this, council leader Jeremy Pembroke told the Star the appointment will be voted through.
“The vote will go smoothly,” he said. “We have a number of very big balls in the air over the next two or three years and none of those balls can afford to be dropped. Andrea Hill is a top quality chief executive and I can't wait for her to arrive.”