The Subject of Pay

At full Council on Thursday Cllr. Martin, Leader of the Labour group on Suffolk County Council, put down a motion to full Council which was frankly particularly by the time the Liberals had chipped in with an amendment was nonsense and was rightly heavily defeated as it should be.

However it does raise the question of the salaries of the Senior Staff at Suffolk County Council and its worth reflecting on, so here goes.

If we start going around the country jumping up and down and pointing fingers at every public servant who earns more money than someone else, we will find ourselves further down the line in a seriously awkward situation.

For years, local government was seen as the poor relation to central government, the place for rejects or unsuccessful civil service applicants. Over the past few decades local government has managed to shake off this stigma and we have been able to attract some extremely talented, bright and dedicated people to work in Suffolk.

The point I made in the debate on Thursday was around the going rate, we have and we will continue to pay the going rate, hopefully, as was said by Cllr. Bill Sadler, the going rate will fall over the coming few years and I very much look forward to that.

It is a fact that over 13 years of a Labour mismanagement public sector salaries have been raised faster at the top end and in many cases are on a par with the private sector; which begs the question is this right or wrong?

I suppose there are three things that spring to mind, first and foremost I think if we start reducing salaries for certain jobs due to media hysteria, we could potentially lose out long term. Secondly I think it’s fair to say that local government is not the same as private business, the billing is compulsory and failure is not usually rewarded with the sack or bankruptcy, more often a polite side ways shuffle.

But make no mistake the work of a council often has far more impact in society than any one individual company and in the case of Suffolk County Council is Suffolk largest employer and whilst it’s a slightly different thing, if spending is equivalent to turnover then the close to £1Billion Suffolk spends makes it the largest company in the County.

Irrespective of whether you think the County does a good job, if it started to go wrong you would soon be complaining about it, and rightly so.

Therefore the calibre of staff does matter and none more so that the calibre of those at the top of the organisation. But if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys, after all, So whatever is the going rate should be what we pay to get the best people with the most talent for Local Government to come and work with us in Suffolk.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Kerry Buist on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

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