No pay rise for city’s fat cats

The 'Milton Keynes Six': Top (l-r) Gail Tolley, Geoff Snelson and Brian Sandhom; Bottom (l-r) Lynda Bull, Tim Hannam and David Hill
The 'Milton Keynes Six': Top (l-r) Gail Tolley, Geoff Snelson and Brian Sandhom; Bottom (l-r) Lynda Bull, Tim Hannam and David Hill
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THE six top bosses at Milton Keynes Council have all agreed to forego pay rises to spare the public purse, the Citizen can reveal.

The salary sacrifice from the corporate heads, together with the 21 directors beneath them, will save £609,000 over the next four years.

But the budget chop is negligible compared to that proposed for the council’s remaining 2,500 staff.

Some 280 redundancies, together with transfers and pay freezes, will save a staggering £5 million.

Facing their biggest ever budget crisis this year, councillors vowed to start the economy ball rolling by scrutinising their own staff bill – starting from the very top.

Deputy leader Councillor Sam Crooks said: “We felt it was a important principle that senior staff should bear the same pain as the rest of the staff and indeed the public in this time of forced economy.”

The pay freeze means chief executive David Hill will have to make do on his £155,000 salary.

Head of children’s services Gail Tolley will remain on £135,000, finance director Tim Hannam on £130,000 and community wellbeing chief Lynda Bull on £120,000.

Brian Sandom, who is head of the environment department, earns £105,000 and Geoff Snelson, strategy and performance, is paid £103,000, according to last year’s annual accounts.

The ‘Milton Keynes Six’ will also forego fat bonuses and ‘contribution payments’ which would have swelled their salaries by several thousand pounds apiece.

Councillors, before they could propose changes, were legally required to take into account the rule of equal pay for work of equal value.

Councillor Crooks said: “The new arrangements were negotiated individually with all 27 corporate directors and assistant directors.

“We are very grateful for their contributions towards our budget savings.

“I think this is a good story for the council.

“Many people said we would only impose a pay freeze for middle and lower staff. But we were clear it had to be for all.”

The city’s 51 councillors have also done their bit for the budget by agreeing to freeze their own allowances and cut their expenses.