Another option for officers’ pay

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EDITOR – When reading the Rasen Mail’s reports on local politics, I wonder whether those of a political bent, whatever their make or shape, are occupying a parallel universe to the rest of us.

The hiring of a consultant to do what a competent manager could and should have done is questionable regardless of the additional cost – all of the usual excuses notwithstanding.

Given the £800 per week paid to a consultant by Rasen council represents a full week’s work it equates to roughly £25 per hour – less than a local garage will charge out a fitter’s time. Draw your own conclusions.

Turning to the reported salaries paid to WLDC officers, there would seem to be a large differential between WLDC’s chief finance officer and chief executive officer, like 100 per cent.

One would question whether this is justifiable. Again, one anticipates this would be countered by the usual arguments put forward by any council in our fair land:

l If we do not pay this kind of money we cannot attract the right (sic) people.

l They could earn more in the private sector.

l We are the size of a FTSE 100 company etc.

None of these arguments will actually stand up to close scrutiny and have all been discredited in the national Press, so why do councils keep on repeating them?

I would, however, suggest the finance officer’s salary is about right. Usual disclaimers about being unacquainted with the present incumbent.

There is, of course, a radical option: the top four officers of WLDC receive no salaries for two years but they share 50 per cent of the total amount by which they can, in the first year, reduce the controllable costs of services, while maintaining the same level of service.

If they are as good as we are led to believe, their share of a gross 10 per cent reduction would deliver them a tidy sum more than their salaries.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for this option to be taken up... especially when there is a tethered cash cow called the taxpayer.

Peter Street

Mallowfield, Middle Rasen