Surely the best way to ‘democracy-proof’ local government pay would be to get us, the voters, to approve or reject council executives’ remuneration packages.
Can you imagine the voters of Hartlepool — the same voters who face losing their hospital, bus service, three community centres and a library — rushing out to approve the 7 per cent salary increase just awarded to the town’s chief executive Paul Walker?
His annual pay next year will be £168,000 — £25,000 more than the Prime Minister, and all to run a medium-sized town in the north of England.
The pay rise is an unbelievable cheek. Last month Hartlepool’s elected mayor Stuart Drummond — who is himself on a salary of well over £50,000 — wrote to the Government to protest about the cut in Hartlepool’s grant.
And yet we now learn that, while the cuts will be affecting services desperately needed by the poor, there is apparently enough money in the kitty to stuff the pockets of the council’s top brass.
My comment: Turkeys don't vote for Christmas and fat cats don't vote to forego a pay rise.
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