LETTERS - Is job enough to justify wage?

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I WANT to thank Express for the report about the extortionate incomes we, the taxpayer, are funding towards our council chief executive’s pay packet (Express, February 24).

How on earth can Coun Peter Box justify incomes to the sum of £180,000 for the chief executive of Wakefield Council when the leader of this country has an income of approximately £142,000.

The voluntary five per cent cut from the chief executive’s income still makes our prime minister the poor relation, and he is accountable to more than 65 million people.

Coun Box has gone on for months about difficult decisions ahead, asking for suggestions from the public.

I would suggest, considering the economic situation, a review of the council’s wage structure using the prime minister’s responsibility as a guide.

It’s immoral when local leaders with a fraction of responsibility earn more than the head of the country’s government.

The money saved should secure a few jobs to the low wage earner or help services.

Hopefully in the near future these extortionate incomes will be more difficult to authorise when the localism bill is passed.

E KIRKALDY

Castlesyke View

Pontefract

I BELIEVE that the chief executive for Wakefield should have her salary cut by half.

The number of councillors for the area should be trimmed down by a third and their monthly payments and travel allowances should also be cut by half. Some small towns like Knottingley and Castleford are not getting good value for money, while thousands of pounds are being spent in Wakefield on projects which are not essential in times of recession.

As the most vulnerable people will be left to fend for themselves after losing their jobs and a lot of pensioners will have to support disappearing services, it is time to stop any extravagant salary claims at the top and reduce staff levels.

There are far too many overlapping functions carried out by top managers.

D ROWLINSON

Park Avenue

Castleford

HOW can a chief executive of a local authority justify earning more than the prime minister?

They are quick to trot out the same old reasons – it’s comparable to outside organisations, they have so many staff and size of budget. So, it’s a responsible job, but more than the PM? Come on!

They seem to forget that the firms they compare themselves to are profit making organisations which bring wealth to the country as a whole, where the failure of the CEO to perform is dealt with by the sack.

What is the risk of that to a local authority chief executive? What wealth are they generating?

At the end of the day, the council is our servant as we, the council tax payers, fund them. The council should be accountable to us.

If chief executives are so keen to earn the ‘big bucks’, they should move to outside industry – there are plenty of able people willing to fill their shoes for a more reasonable pay packet.

The same applies to the other director posts!

NAME AND ADDRESS

WITHHELD

SO Ms Roney volunteered to take a five per cent pay cut, big deal. Are we supposed to be grateful? That’s about £9,000 to her.

That still puts her on approximately £31,000 more than the prime minister, but of course I’m forgetting she is responsible for 13,000 staff and a budget of £700m. I think she will find the prime minister has a slightly bigger staff and budget.

Councillor Box said the salary reflected the market rate for a post that carries such a high level of responsibility. I say to Ms Roney: “Goodbye, and try and get a salary like that in the real world, in the private sector.”

Let’s also remember the gold plated final salary pension, and expenses and other perks. I had to take a 7.5 per cent cut in salary three years ago in order to stay in work, plus a loss of all bonuses and travel expenses, all this on a salary that is a small fraction of hers.

Come on all executives of Wakefield Council, lead the way and cut all salaries to under the £142,000 the PM gets, and maybe regain the respect of the council tax payers in the district.

I won’t hold my breath though as it seems to be impossible to shame any government official nowadays.

PAUL POCKLINGTON

Sandhill Rise

Pontefract