LEP CEO in line for a 26% payrise

“The leader of Devon County Council has criticised a proposed pay rise of more than 26% for the head of a government-backed regional business partnership.

Devon County Council will be voting against the pay rise for the chief executive of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, which is tasked with bringing prosperity to the region.

Businesses, local authorities and universities from across Devon and Somerset are represented on the LEP board.

The vote at the partnership’s board meeting next Tuesday, January 17, will be on a whether to increase the pay package of Chris Garcia, the chief executive, from £90,729 to £115,000.

A spokesman for Devon County Council said they anticipated that the Somerset County Council representative at the meeting would take the same stance.

Devon council leader John Hart said his vote was not personal but was on principle.

“As a local authority subject to significant government cuts, I cannot support a pay rise of 25% for any high-level official,” he said.

“It is clear the CEO does a good job and the LEP has brought many millions of pounds into the Devon economy [not verified as no figures available]. But there has to be recognition of the tight financial times in which we live.”

The Heart of the South West LEP is a business-led partnership of four county and unitary authorities, 15 district authorities, four universities and 10 FE colleges across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.”


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