According to the Birmingham Mail, a city council service director was paid £200,000pa to stay at home for two years, remaining on gardening leave even after an allegation against him was dismissed.
City MP Khalid Mahmood is calling for a probe into how Berkley Broomes was paid his enormous salary for so long, particularly after he was cleared of any wrongdoing. Mr. Broomes was also paid £50,000 in compensation.
The Adults and Communities directorate where Mr. Broomes worked is currently in financial crisis according to the newspaper, with many care home staff facing redundancy.
The Labour MP is quoted as saying, “This is a ludicrous waste of public money and in the end we will all be paying for it through our council taxes”.
This costly error seems to have come about via a combination of an oversight and a long, laborious, bureaucratic investigation. When an extremely highly paid member of staff is suspended on full pay the clock should start ticking and those involved in any inquiry should automatically be under some pressure to clear up the matter as swiftly and efficiently as is possible. For this to have rumbled on for two whole years, costing £400,000 (and then culminating in compensation) is entirely unacceptable and indicative of creaky inadequate council mechanisms for dealing with such complaints.