Devon council boss doesn’t want to take his full pay rise

He thinks it would be unfair on others.

Could this public spirited public servant leading from the front, be our very own Chief Weazel?

Errrrr – not this time. – Owl

Philip Churm 

The boss of a Devon council won’t take his full salary increase because he thinks it is unfair on other staff. Nonetheless, the chief executive of South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council Andy Bates, could still get a £7,500 rise – or six per cent – of his £125,000 salary.

As the most senior official on the two councils, he says he doesn’t want to take a bigger percentage pay rise than the lowest paid worker. Mr Bates was speaking at a South Hams executive meeting on Thursday [2 March] to discuss pay and employee retention.

An independent report by the Local Government Association to senior councillors recommended all council staff should receive pay increases of not less than six per cent. But Mr Bates insisted: “Actually for those staff in the lower bands, typically they will be receiving a pay increase of between nine and 12 per cent.”

He explained how the recommendations in the report would “result in a seven per cent increase for directors and, indeed, myself.”

But Mr Bates, whose salary is currently £125,150 insisted he did not wish to receive a higher percentage increase than workers in lower bands.

“In the event that the executive chooses to agree this – and indeed councillors choose to agree this – it’s my intention that I should cap an increase to six per cent. I think it’s appropriate you shouldn’t be paying your senior team more than you’re paying your staff.”

Lib Dem councillor for Stokenham, Julian Brazil welcomed the comments by Mr Bates but said he hoped the decision wouldn’t lead to much bigger pay rises in future.

“I do not believe that senior management, however wonderful they are, should be paid disproportionately more than people out there at the coalface delivering the services that our people want us to do.”

The chief executive’s salary can only be decided by full council on the recommendation of the leader after taking appropriate advice. The Local Government Chronicle’s (LGC) salary tracker, published earlier this month, showed between February 2020 and January 2022, the average salary for a new chief executive was £154,764.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.