Council’s money-saving decision ends up costing more

A money-saving decision to share senior management costs between two councils in the South West is now set to cost the council taxpayer over £100,000 as the agreement is terminated prematurely.

South Somerset District Council (SSDC) shared their chief executive with East Devon District Council (EDDC), but now SSDC wants to end the agreement early and pay the maximum compensatory sum of £112,333 to the chief executive. SSDC claim the payment will be funded in part from money set aside to pay his salary, but a local TPA supporter disagrees.

'It will cost far more than £112,000 because there will have to be an uplift in salary paid to the stand in as temporary Chief Executive,' says the local supporter, 'plus any other compensatory sums payable to East Devon who the contract is with to hire him. All SSDC have to do to avoid any cost is give him a year’s notice and let him work it out, then it would be at no cost to the taxpayer. If it were their money, it would be a different story I am sure. Yet again, a six figure sum down the toilet.'

I couldn’t have put it better myself. The point of councils sharing senior management costs is to save the taxpayer money—not cost more!

Tim Newark, South West TaxPayers’ Alliance

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