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Inflation busting pay rises are bad politics

with 8 comments

20% rise for South Tyneside cabinet members described as “slight”

OK, so the full amount in the pot has not changed, but this comment by Cllr. Iain Malcolm the Leader of South Tyneside Council is simply flabbergasting:

Because cabinet members are now expected to attend more meetings, their allowance rises slightly.


In these days where the average lucky employed person has to settle for a rise of 2% or less, and shareholders are at last rebelling against corporate pay rises as large as 4.8%, this award seems designed to cause an uproar with news being revealed just days after a strong election victory.  This is simply bad politics, a faux pas on the level displayed by the coalition government on almost a daily basis.

How on earth Cllr. Malcolm believes this will sit comfortably with the people of South Shields and Jarrow is beyond me, the independent panel appears to have taken some money from the leader of the (heavily defeated) opposition and doled it out to Labour’s favourite sons, I guess they are hoping that this will all be forgotten about over the next two years – the next time any councillors face an election around here.

I will forgive these cabinet members for accepting this grotesque increase in special responsibility allowance only if they can maintain their financial stewardship and deliver NO council tax increases before the next local government election, that will be fair payment for results don’t you think?


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Written by curly

May 13, 2012 at 11:13 am

8 Responses

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  1. I stand by my comment in the Gazette. It is utterly disgusting. However, we must not forget the absolute fortunes being paid to senior officers. Circa £170’000 PA to run a Borough with a population of under 160’000. It is madness. Swales takes home more than the UK PM and the Mayor of New York combined. Yet our town centres are dropping to bits and unemployment is approaching a double-digit percentage. I would sack him tomorrow if I was in Iain Malcolm’s shoes.

    David Potts

    May 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    • I do find it rather perverse that we should be in the position of paying such a salary for a Chief Executive, however he is not responsible for setting the rate. I guess his employers will tell you that the market sets the rate, and if there is a high demand for the small number of well qualified applicants then that will be reflected in the remuneration. Obviously there is not so high a demand for Prime Ministers.


      May 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      • Sorry I meant to add – Prime Ministers of the calibre that we have seen since 1997.


        May 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm

  2. Here’s an idea. Give Swales a basic of £60’000 PA and a bonus of £100 for every job created in the Borough under his stewardship. I’m sure we’d see things improve very quickly! Payment by results.

    David Potts

    May 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    • Unfortunately politicians and public servants cannot create authentic real long term productive jobs or growth, they can only create the conditions which allow companies to start or expand.


      May 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm

  3. That is precisely my point, Curly. South Tyneside is not a friendly place to do business. One prominent regional businessman (who shall remain nameless, but I think you know who I’m talking about) told me that “trying to deal with STC is like dealing with the Mafia”

    David Potts

    May 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

  4. I have in a prior excistance been embedded within NE LAs working on energy and regeneration. My experience was that if you scratch the surface there is little real knowledge there, so if something needs doing we end up with another policy or useless strategy. This is precisely why the LEPs will be a total and utter waste of time, it’s the usual suspects with no real budget, idea or creativity.

    David please tell me your not going to get into bed with the Branleys? Their sleaze and self serving interests will do nothing but damage you.


    May 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

  5. Swales thinks he’s Dick Fuld. Needs to recognise that he is just the Chief Exec of a tiny council in Northern England, and he’s not even a very good one!

    David Potts

    May 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm

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