The Town Hall Rich List has always generated a lot of media attention. Boomerang bosses and scandalous rewards for failure are often the headline, but the principal purpose has always been to allow people to find out - if they want to - just how much their council executives really earn.
Public anger at what were considered to be excessive and - critically - unjustified pay packets was ignored for some time by local and national politicians. To their credit, national politicians slowly begun to react, and last year all parties committed themselves to much greater transparency in local government spending, and in particular over council remuneration.
To their great discredit, councils did not then take the initiative and publish all the remuneration details of their senior staff. It would have been a bold but sensible move, pre-empting the inevitable. Now, as the Government plans to amend the Local Government accounting regulations to make remuneration details public, Councils look as if they had to be forced into line.
From December - if Communities and Local Government plans are not derailed - all local authorities will have to publish the remuneration details (including salary, bonuses, pay-offs, expenses, etc) of all senior staff earning over £50,000. To see the draft amendment in full, click here.
I have written more extensively on this issue over on the Local Government page of ConHome. To read the piece there, follow this link. But suffice to say, DCLG have written a really good piece of legislation, which deserves support. If the final plans put forward in December do not deliver the transparency voters deserve - and which is one the table at the moment - the culprits will be easy to identify.