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Can't be held to ransom over council pay
3:34pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Postbag
AS an elected member of Wiltshire Council, I feel that I must reply to the comments made in the press by Councillor Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council, as she again tries to defend the pay rises for some senior managers at Wiltshire Council.
I have no doubt that these managers work hard, and may deserve a pay rise, but I would suggest all the other members of staff who work for the council deserve a pay rise, but they have to make do with just one per cent.
And many middle management are getting nothing.
She then goes on to insult the residents of Wiltshire by suggesting that, in her words, “they don’t understand the workings of the council”.
I suggest that they understand only too well, and that this pay increase is insensitive and badly timed when so many residents of Wiltshire are finding it hard to make ends meet, and we are losing hundreds of members staff.
She suggests that if we don’t reward our top officers with this massive pay rise they will leave.
We can’t be held to ransom and if this is the case let them go, we could soon replace them.
Cllr Scott should get out of County Hall and talk to the public and her own staff, and she will soon understand just how much anger there is out there over there insensitive pay rises.
COUNCILLOR TERRY CHIVERS Independent, Melksham Without North Public
anger over pay rise PUBLIC anger over Wiltshire Council’s decision to massively increase senior staff salaries has not abated.
This week the council’s leader, Jane Scott, gave a rather strange interview, the twin themes of which were that she worked very hard for her £40,000 and that she was “disappointed”
with Wiltshire people.
It was as if the people were all wrong – not her.
She simply does not understand why people are so incensed at this display of gross inequality.
Some of these salary increases are actually more than many Wiltshire people’s take home pay – so much for “we are all in this together”.
Over the past two weeks I have talked to many of my constituents.
Quite a few of these are natural Conservatives.
They all say, that in this time of national austerity, the senior salary decision was plain wrong and that it sets a very poor example. No wonder there is a growing cynicism about politics.
Add to this the loss of morale among “ordinary” staff, whose increases are limited to one per cent by law, and the future does not look good.
Yet the Conservative administration at County Hall totally fails to acknowledge its responsibility for this.
Instead it dismissively declares how disappointed it is with Wiltshire people. Actually, the people themselves are more than simply disappointed in Jane Scott.
They are still angry and wish the salary decision reversed.
JEFF OSBORN, Independent Wiltshire
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