Let me ask you something. Do you think that someone whose salary you pay should be accountable to you? From your hard earned taxes, the government employs civil servants, bureaucrats and, what really gripes us, town hall fats. They live off your money, so they should be accountable - all of them, elected or not. So you see our logic in asking those we pay what they earn to see if we get value for money in return.
The politicians make the policy and, in theory at least, the bureaucrats implement it. As taxpayers we judge their results according to whether we get value for money. But Peter Gilroy, the Chief Executive of Kent County Council (pictured) and the highest paid Council Chief Executive in the country, thinks you shouldn’t know who in local government are the biggest earners and some of the most influential and powerful people in your Town Hall.
Thank you Mr Gilroy, you’ve just got yourself in a whole lot of trouble. You can’t just ignore the Freedom of Information Act because people were ‘abusive’ to you. Perhaps if you did a better job they wouldn’t be.
The Freedom of Information Act is there so we, the taxpayer, can know where our money is being spent. That includes our taxes spent on your bloated salary. If you don’t like it, give Kent’s taxpayers value for money services at a lower cost to the taxpayer. For example, Kent council lands in the top ten in all three of our reports into council spending, as well as having the highest paid Chief Executive in the country and it still spends well over £6.5million on its own self-congratulatory publicity.
Clearly there’s room for improvement, which is why we will continue to hold you to account. And when I say 'we', I mean our 18,000 supporters and activists. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.
Please contact Kent County Council’s Chief Executive, Peter Gilroy, on the following contacts:
Kent ME14 1XQ
Telephone: 08458 247247
1. Why he thinks the taxpayer shouldn’t know what he earns?
2. How he justifies a, probably underestimate, salary of £230,000 when Council Tax has doubled in ten years and taxpayers see services decline?
3. Whether he would like it, if he were on a fixed income or pension, paying for someone’s unaccountable salary if they were failing in their duties as a public servant?
You can also send this blog round to other taxpayers angry at high levels of Council Tax and officers’ desperate bid to dodge the Freedom of Information Act. Remember the FOIA is your only way to find out where your money is going. So please take only 5 minutes out of your day to send an email or make a call to defend your right to know where your money is being spent!