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Failings of our country shown in council pay increases
12:48pm Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in Salisbury Letters
COUNCILLOR Jane Scott personifies what is wrong in this country.
Her reasoning for the pay hikes underlines the greed that runs through our society, a lack of prudent financial management and a disregard for those paying ever increased amounts of council tax.
She advises of directors, staff and management cuts i.e. people who should never have been employed in the first place.
She wants a reduction of back office costs and redundancies and the production of a leaner authority i.e. an overweight and over-paid authority that should not have emerged.
She warns about the loss of people, apparently due to noncompetitive salaries, i.e. an indication that the authority is short staffed which, if this is the case, will lead to an increase in staff salaries thereby contradicting her leanness claims.
Councillor Scott should be made aware that efficient leadership means setting an example to the management and staff and most importantly to those who pay for her and her team – we the council taxpayers to whom she and her team are responsible and accountable.
What is needed is the freezing and reduction of senior directors’ and management pay and expenses and an improvement in the services provided by the council.
Anyone feeling badly done by should try to find alternative jobs.
I suggest it would be appropriate for council tax payers to cease paying council tax until the council sets the right example instead of the increased lining of their pockets.
MICHAEL GROOM, Teffont Evias
THE Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott asks why we the public are not prepared to trust the council.
I would have thought that would be blatantly obvious to her.
Why do the upper management need a £19,000 pay rise if the number of management staff has been reduced to cover the cost?
This must mean that they have been under employed up until now and have been overpaid and should only have a one per cent pay rise, the same as the rest of the council staff.
It must have cost council money to find this out.
Why are you taking any notice of what other counties pay?
They may, and probably are, over-paying their staff. Why not compare all council staff with senior bankers?
A windfall from a previous mistake – like banking in Iceland – is not a reason to use it to increase staff pay.
The council should apply a bit of common sense when it comes to financial matters.
RICHARD TEMLETT, Salisbury
MAY I add weight to the letter of Councillor Terry Chivers (Postbag, September 26), which I agree with.
Any organisation needs its members to be proud of their team working together, under an accomplished leader.
The emoluments paid to the leader should be in proportion to those of his/her team, certainly not one per cent versus 16 per cent, particularly in public service.
We all know of the extravagance of international payments to senior executives and the pay-off values if they are made redundant.
This sort of procedure encourages “the great social divide” to increase further.
At this moment in time, the country needs cohesion, not disunity between the haves and the have nots.
I regret having to say the “well off” are speeding into greater better living standards, while the greater volume of the population are deprived of a better life.
It would be interesting to know what contractual objectives to be achieved are put before a highly paid person to be given a 16 per cent rise in income?
BASIL DAVIE, Netheravon
CONTRARY to Jane Scott’s assertion that “residents don’t understand the workings of the council...” we understand only too well how they have been historically over staffed, and over-paid as well as, in Jane Scott’s case, being out of touch with public opinion, and arrogant in defending a 16 per cent pay rise.
It is no justification to state she has cut back their senior team since 2009.
Many small to medium businesses have cut management and the directors have forgone salary increases, in order to maintain employment, and keep the business afloat.
It’s a pity council top management still don’t have the commercial imperative and social consciousness.
RICHARD SIRMAN, Salisbury
AS these avaricious bean counters are unable to see anything but their own selfish greed, I propose that all council tax payers withhold 16 per cent of their tax demands in protest.
Perhaps that shortfall in council income might help them to understand what is in the real world.
FRANK DORAN, Salisbury
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