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Councils Cut Services, Not Salaries

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2699482/Councils-cut-services-not-salaries-Two-thirds-ignored-Governments-pleas-pay-restraint-reduced-spending-libraries-retirement-homes-instead.html

Councils cut services, not salaries: Two thirds have ignored Government's pleas for pay restraint and reduced spending on libraries or retirement homes instead
  • Most council bosses have defied government demands for pay restraint
  • Around 61 per cent paid their biggest earners more than David Cameron
  • Highest salary thought to be £318,500 paid by Somerset County Council
  • It was handed to Peter Lewis, the council's director of children's services

Most council bosses have defied government demands for pay restraint by handing out huge salaries while cutting services.

Around 61 per cent of councils paid their biggest earners more than the Prime Minister, who receives £142,500 a year.

The highest salary was thought to be the £318,500 paid by Somerset County Council – which is cutting jobs and services to save £18million – to Peter Lewis, director of children’s services

Why cut salaries when you can cut something else.

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I personally think we've seen this in Northampton.

There seems to be a great reluctance to use the peoples money for the people themselves.

I personally dont have a problem with cuts to the services, some of the services being offered ( funded by other peoples money ) are really beyond the remit of what the councils should be about.

The salaries and pensions the people forcefully taking our money though are out of kilter with the people they are taking the money from but until they are forced to take salary and pension cuts they wont taken them.

The only way I can see this happening is an full blown government financial crisis :blink:

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What prevented councils from having these huge wages 20/30 years ago? Why now? What has changed?

Didn't it used to be about civic duty, public service a vocation not a job etc so high pay was not needed to attract people. The pay off was early retirement and a decent pension.

Then pay blew up in the city and the mantra put forward was that we had to pay top dollar to attract the " talent" as if there was no talent before. Council bosses see themselves as CEO's now, the bigger the population they " manage" in the county they control, the bigger the salary they need or they will run off to the private sector.

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What prevented councils from having these huge wages 20/30 years ago? Why now? What has changed?

New Liebore, and Common Purpose.

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In some ways people are their own worst enemy, around here the grass patches between the pavement and the road are ill maintained in general. The council whizz over them a couple of times a year leaving them long and with clippings everywhere. A few households, mine included, cut the patches outside their houses regularly and they look much more presentable as a result, and the council no longer needs to do it.

But no, some neighbours complain about the state of them, whilst doing nowt about it themselves, for the sake of under 5 minutes work every other week.

Similarly I heard relatives relaying a story that a streetlight was enveloped in a tree, a tree which was planted in the verge by a neighbor some years prior. Now it's the council's problem to go to the expense of removing it of course.

Doesn't solve the issue of excessive council CEO pay, but the fewer services provided makes the case for FTSE salaries diminish imo. Play the long game.

Edited by Joan of The Tower

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I've mentioned before I do system work for councils so get to see the types of salaries people get paid.

It is simply not true in my opinion to say that rank and file workers are overpaid.

However get to the top end and you get massive pay packets for no apparent reason. These seem to go up every time the job is re-advertised. These are the only pay settlements directly influenced by councillors. So it appears to me that the people who approve of high pay for "senior leadership" positions are the councillors. In my experience the normal staff are massively against these high salaries and see it as mutual back-scratching by the wealthy. Particularly when their terms and conditions are forced down (two of my client sites have recently had pay reviews that saw normal pay fall by up to 25% for the lowest grades)

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I've mentioned before I do system work for councils so get to see the types of salaries people get paid.

It is simply not true in my opinion to say that rank and file workers are overpaid.

However get to the top end and you get massive pay packets for no apparent reason. These seem to go up every time the job is re-advertised. These are the only pay settlements directly influenced by councillors. So it appears to me that the people who approve of high pay for "senior leadership" positions are the councillors. In my experience the normal staff are massively against these high salaries and see it as mutual back-scratching by the wealthy. Particularly when their terms and conditions are forced down (two of my client sites have recently had pay reviews that saw normal pay fall by up to 25% for the lowest grades)

Yup, the merry-go-round of record CEO pay deals becoming benchmarks for future pay deals in different councils, often involving the same small set of individuals has been well documented in Private Eye over the years.

Edited by Joan of The Tower

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I've mentioned before I do system work for councils so get to see the types of salaries people get paid.

It is simply not true in my opinion to say that rank and file workers are overpaid.

However get to the top end and you get massive pay packets for no apparent reason. These seem to go up every time the job is re-advertised. These are the only pay settlements directly influenced by councillors. So it appears to me that the people who approve of high pay for "senior leadership" positions are the councillors. In my experience the normal staff are massively against these high salaries and see it as mutual back-scratching by the wealthy. Particularly when their terms and conditions are forced down (two of my client sites have recently had pay reviews that saw normal pay fall by up to 25% for the lowest grades)

There is in my local authority clearly a white collar, managerial elite of possibly 150 people who get extravagant pay and benefits packages. They seem to have achieved total dominance over the elected Labour politicians who control the Cabinet and the Council.

The councillors are ineffective and not very good at fighting this bureaucracy, and so the burden of wage cuts - such as there have been - have fallen on groups like the dustbinmen, with reduced hours and cut back on overtime etc.

All together, the cuts in wages were quite severe, and I confronted a Labour councillor about this injustice, his reply being, "Well, nobody left the council's employment."

Of course they wouldn't, in an area with really high structural unemployment. Where else could basically unskilled men find work?

I think the answer may be to have smaller councils, with councillors in political control who can take on much smaller bureaucracies.

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Because cutting salaries will lead to a strike as it is a change to terms and conditions of a work contract without agreement on both sides.

Not that I agree with the necessity of all of the services a council provides, and I certainly don't agree with the eye-watering salaries that the high level people get, but it is obvious they will cut services and not wages.

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Because cutting salaries will lead to a strike as it is a change to terms and conditions of a work contract without agreement on both sides.

Not that I agree with the necessity of all of the services a council provides, and I certainly don't agree with the eye-watering salaries that the high level people get, but it is obvious they will cut services and not wages.

Quite a large number of employees at my local council were willing to have their hours reduced to save money and avoid redundancies.

Not only did the (Labour-controlled) council not agree; neither did the trade unions.

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Protection of compensation and workers rights which were deemed affordable during the ''good times'' will always be preserved at the expense of services or indeed the economy itself.

It appears to be an intractable problem from Italy to Potugal...eventually all advanced economies become PIIGs with promises borne on the backs of future workers who drown under the weight of the dependents who have their certified promises.... be it the retired, public sector or welfare.

Edited by crashmonitor

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97% of council staff I know have had pay freeze for years.

And the vast majority (actually pretty much all) on are less than the UK average wage (sub 20K).

It's the managers and upper level who are still troughing hard.

Asking them to cut wages means cutting those who man Frontline council services, not their own basically.

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Councils are at the moment trying to justify what they offer and how they spend the money they get.....they have cut back on services and are asking for more money to not even put it back to how it was only a few years ago......most of the money goes into paying wages and pensions......there was huge wastage in the past that has been improved, still room for some improvement. I think they thought there was always going to be a bottomless pit of money on hand that they would always have access to, and thought they held the power to increase CT as a when they felt like......all in this together? ;)

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More money for meeting unrealistic pension promises. The budgets will have to expand and the services will have to decline even as wages stay frozen. We have promised the moon in retirement and now we will have to face the consequences.

Edited by crashmonitor

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Similarly I heard relatives relaying a story that a streetlight was enveloped in a tree, a tree which was planted in the verge by a neighbor some years prior. Now it's the council's problem to go to the expense of removing it of course.

.

I do this every other year for a tree/street light outside my house because the light flicking with the branches in the wind is like a form of torture. Involves climbing the tree with a saw. Last time I had to do it my mum was visiting and she went crackers at me in case I fell out!! LOL!

It honestly never dawned on me to call the council. Next time I think I will.

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Is there anything stopping the prime minister from putting an end to these excessive upper management salaries? I'm presuming his position makes him the top guy in the company & therefor in charge. How about something along the lines of, nobody in this company can earn more than me since I have the most responsibility, see my terms of reference if you disagree.

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How much more does the staff at the top at the council earn than the bottom?......a bigger differential than many private businesses.....some SMEs are having to take a cut in income to survive, some owner/managers are taking home less than their staff just to keep things ticking over...no sick pay, holiday pay and an unknown future pension provision. ;)

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I assume contracts have already been written up and are hard to shift now.

The other problem is that in theory councils have some autonomy right? "Is there something that central government can do", well, this is akin to Maggie capping councils. Her poll tax ideas were to try and make councils financially accountable to their electorates - problem was the electorate blamed her, not the council.

The problem is surely that councillors are not doing their jobs ultimately, it's up to them to lay down the law. Perhaps they are not able to legally do so, I'm not sure just what they can be expected to do. But Maggie was right IMO in that the solution is a more functional local democracy, with financial transparency and accountability. How to get there from here though, no idea.

Councils are pretty powerless really, they have little discretion to tax (thanks to Maggie - oops), they have few discretionary services as they are hemmed in by a great wedge of statutory duties. That powerlessness seems to translate to bureaucratic fiefdoms.

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I think they will be relying on more and more voluntary workers in the future to keep services up and running. ;)

Yes but those volunteers won't be able to manage themselves. They need highly skilled managers on 6 figure salaries.

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Yes but those volunteers won't be able to manage themselves. They need highly skilled managers on 6 figure salaries.

Some people like to feel useful and value themselves on how much they get paid.....what people get doesn't always relate to what they are worth.......too many cooks spoil the broth. ;)

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