Call for ten per cent pay cut for Darlington councillors as manual staff look set to lose £2,000 a year

The Northern Echo: Councillor Bill Stenson Councillor Bill Stenson

A LONG-serving councillor has called for his colleagues to take a ten per cent pay cut as some authority staff face salary cuts of up to £2,000-a-year.

Conservative councillor Bill Stenson made his comments to a full meeting of Darlington Borough Council after it emerged up to 30 staff in the council’s StreetScene department are facing wage decreases after their roles were re-graded.

Council leader Bill Dixon said the wage cuts for manual staff were ‘regrettable’ but were necessary under equal pay legislation to ensure all staff were paid the same for doing the same jobs.

He pointed out hundreds of the lowest paid staff at the authority will receive a pay rise to increase it from the minimum wage in the coming weeks.

Unison, the union representing StreetScene staff, said its members were angry at the prospect of wage cuts and were suffering from low morale.

Coun Stenson, who was first elected in 1965, argued that if councillors took a ten per cent cut it would save £60,000 a year.

He said: “The wage increase for our lowest paid staff is very welcome and I’m not opposed to that.

“But that increase in costs is going to be offset by a cut in the wages of our manual staff.

“The expected increase in costs to 287 of our lowest paid employees is put at between £48,000 and £70,000. That increase could easily be covered by a reduction in councillors pay.”

Coun Dixon said councillors allowances are set by an independent panel, and have been frozen for several years.

On the staff wage cuts he said: “We made changes to StreetScene last year – those who were on a higher pay grade because they multi-tasked are now doing single task jobs.

“They had to be re-graded - they have to be equal to everyone else doing single task jobs, otherwise those on lower pay could sue us.

“It is regrettable, but we set a pay structure and we have to follow it.”

Union representatives and StreetScene staff will meet with council management about the proposed wage cuts this week.

Joe White, Unison branch secretary, said: “The strength of feeling is running very high amongst our members who are quite rightly angry over the prospect of pay cuts and changes to working practices.

“Morale is at an all-time low and they are feeling extremely let down by this Labour-controlled council."

Comments (43)

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2:21pm Sun 2 Mar 14

loan_star says...

And the chances of Bill Stensons proposal actually being acted on??? Its like turkeys voting for christmas.
And the chances of Bill Stensons proposal actually being acted on??? Its like turkeys voting for christmas. loan_star
  • Score: 38

2:24pm Sun 2 Mar 14

youngcrony says...

When will the higher paid workers be taking a pay cut, or are they excluded for some mysterious reason known only to them?

While I agree with the It's about time with these pay cuts, isn't it time we started trimming the fat - ie: Ada Burns (what does she actually do, anyway?) or even Dixon & Co.?
When will the higher paid workers be taking a pay cut, or are they excluded for some mysterious reason known only to them? While I agree with the It's about time with these pay cuts, isn't it time we started trimming the fat - ie: Ada Burns (what does she actually do, anyway?) or even Dixon & Co.? youngcrony
  • Score: 48

3:31pm Sun 2 Mar 14

laboursfoe says...

At least one Bill is listening to public opinion!!! Well done
At least one Bill is listening to public opinion!!! Well done laboursfoe
  • Score: 36

4:49pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Madadrian says...

Just remember the money coucillors get from the taxpayer is roughly that taken from 600 council tax payers in fully occupied band A houses. I call that a disgrace. Especially the ones getting extra payments up to 30000 a year for a job that used to be done for expenses only
Just remember the money coucillors get from the taxpayer is roughly that taken from 600 council tax payers in fully occupied band A houses. I call that a disgrace. Especially the ones getting extra payments up to 30000 a year for a job that used to be done for expenses only Madadrian
  • Score: 33

4:53pm Sun 2 Mar 14

stevegg says...

As per usual its the lower paid frontline workes who have to suffer whilst all those above them on much more generous pay and conditions remain unscathed. There is no way the councillors are going to agree to a 10% cut on their gold plated pay and perks, thats what all the sarificial minions are there for!
As per usual its the lower paid frontline workes who have to suffer whilst all those above them on much more generous pay and conditions remain unscathed. There is no way the councillors are going to agree to a 10% cut on their gold plated pay and perks, thats what all the sarificial minions are there for! stevegg
  • Score: 30

5:33pm Sun 2 Mar 14

BMD says...

Darlington Councils Top Earners

Chief Executive = £185,713
Director of Resources = £137,134
Director of People = £137,134
Director of Place = £109,739
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £90,060
Assistant Director = £88,875
Assistant Director = £87,690
Assistant Director = £82,950
Assistant Director = £79,987

Total: £1,496,983

A 10% deduction from the councils top earners could also contribute £149,698 per year + the £60,000 Councillor reduction proposed by Bill Stenson, the result is a £209,698 saving!

Now wouldn’t that please their Union comrades - Remember Bill Dixon "We are all in it Together"
Darlington Councils Top Earners Chief Executive = £185,713 Director of Resources = £137,134 Director of People = £137,134 Director of Place = £109,739 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £90,060 Assistant Director = £88,875 Assistant Director = £87,690 Assistant Director = £82,950 Assistant Director = £79,987 Total: £1,496,983 A 10% deduction from the councils top earners could also contribute £149,698 per year + the £60,000 Councillor reduction proposed by Bill Stenson, the result is a £209,698 saving! Now wouldn’t that please their Union comrades - Remember Bill Dixon "We are all in it Together" BMD
  • Score: 58

5:48pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Border Terrier says...

They should all be on £20 grand a year salary. That wage structure is absolutely obscene!
They should all be on £20 grand a year salary. That wage structure is absolutely obscene! Border Terrier
  • Score: 18

5:52pm Sun 2 Mar 14

laughingboy51 says...

Come on Billy boy............lead by example
Come on Billy boy............lead by example laughingboy51
  • Score: 34

5:55pm Sun 2 Mar 14

John Justice says...

Thank you BMD for providing the salary figures of the top earners in the Council. It would also be interesting to see the additions to those salaries such as Travel (1st class no doubt), hotel bills, food, entertaining, pensions, subsidised meals, etc etc. After all while the lower paid have monies removed from their salaries we need to know that all managers and execs who have their snouts in........sorry who are very well paid are seen to suffer on an equal basis.
Thank you BMD for providing the salary figures of the top earners in the Council. It would also be interesting to see the additions to those salaries such as Travel (1st class no doubt), hotel bills, food, entertaining, pensions, subsidised meals, etc etc. After all while the lower paid have monies removed from their salaries we need to know that all managers and execs who have their snouts in........sorry who are very well paid are seen to suffer on an equal basis. John Justice
  • Score: 29

6:37pm Sun 2 Mar 14

loan_star says...

BMD wrote:
Darlington Councils Top Earners

Chief Executive = £185,713
Director of Resources = £137,134
Director of People = £137,134
Director of Place = £109,739
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £90,060
Assistant Director = £88,875
Assistant Director = £87,690
Assistant Director = £82,950
Assistant Director = £79,987

Total: £1,496,983

A 10% deduction from the councils top earners could also contribute £149,698 per year + the £60,000 Councillor reduction proposed by Bill Stenson, the result is a £209,698 saving!

Now wouldn’t that please their Union comrades - Remember Bill Dixon "We are all in it Together"
All those people earning more than an MP?? No doubt with perks on top!
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Darlington Councils Top Earners Chief Executive = £185,713 Director of Resources = £137,134 Director of People = £137,134 Director of Place = £109,739 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £90,060 Assistant Director = £88,875 Assistant Director = £87,690 Assistant Director = £82,950 Assistant Director = £79,987 Total: £1,496,983 A 10% deduction from the councils top earners could also contribute £149,698 per year + the £60,000 Councillor reduction proposed by Bill Stenson, the result is a £209,698 saving! Now wouldn’t that please their Union comrades - Remember Bill Dixon "We are all in it Together"[/p][/quote]All those people earning more than an MP?? No doubt with perks on top! loan_star
  • Score: 26

6:40pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Daffodil says...

I earn less now than I did 5 years ago. I work for DBC. We have been taking pay cuts for years now and no pay rises either. They forget that things go up but wages dont. What they havent said is that the care side of the social services has been sold off to the Private sector and all the workers with it.
I earn less now than I did 5 years ago. I work for DBC. We have been taking pay cuts for years now and no pay rises either. They forget that things go up but wages dont. What they havent said is that the care side of the social services has been sold off to the Private sector and all the workers with it. Daffodil
  • Score: 18

6:50pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Alan Macnab says...

I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?'
I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?' Alan Macnab
  • Score: -7

7:14pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Got Ya says...

This is just a Tory ploy from Stenson........the real problem is Fat Pickle Onion stuffing the Councils in the north to subsidise their friends in the south and some of the mugs on here haven't spotted the issue or want to bury there heads in the sand........come on suckers face up to the truth!
This is just a Tory ploy from Stenson........the real problem is Fat Pickle Onion stuffing the Councils in the north to subsidise their friends in the south and some of the mugs on here haven't spotted the issue or want to bury there heads in the sand........come on suckers face up to the truth! Got Ya
  • Score: -20

7:17pm Sun 2 Mar 14

MSG says...

The sooner Darlington gets rid of the overpaid and unrequired role of Chief Executive the better. If the council leader does not do it soon he should be sacked !
It is a disgrace how the town is being run !
The sooner Darlington gets rid of the overpaid and unrequired role of Chief Executive the better. If the council leader does not do it soon he should be sacked ! It is a disgrace how the town is being run ! MSG
  • Score: 25

7:29pm Sun 2 Mar 14

laughingboy51 says...

Alan Macnab wrote:
I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?'
Yes but is this your full time job, I think not.................
..............it's probably a 'top-up' for your existing salary/pension......
...................n
o-one is forcing you to do the job.

Nice little earner!
[quote][p][bold]Alan Macnab[/bold] wrote: I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?'[/p][/quote]Yes but is this your full time job, I think not................. ..............it's probably a 'top-up' for your existing salary/pension...... ...................n o-one is forcing you to do the job. Nice little earner! laughingboy51
  • Score: 14

7:39pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Alan Macnab says...

Laughing Boy 51. I don't have an other full time job. I was made redundant from work nearly 5 years ago and receive a small occupational pension. It isn't a top up nor is it a nice little earner as I have explained above.. I actually enjoy helping people. Taking on their problems and trying to sort them out.
Laughing Boy 51. I don't have an other full time job. I was made redundant from work nearly 5 years ago and receive a small occupational pension. It isn't a top up nor is it a nice little earner as I have explained above.. I actually enjoy helping people. Taking on their problems and trying to sort them out. Alan Macnab
  • Score: 12

7:42pm Sun 2 Mar 14

laughingboy51 says...

Alan Macnab wrote:
Laughing Boy 51. I don't have an other full time job. I was made redundant from work nearly 5 years ago and receive a small occupational pension. It isn't a top up nor is it a nice little earner as I have explained above.. I actually enjoy helping people. Taking on their problems and trying to sort them out.
Well, Sir, you are one of the few.........I take my hat off to you!
[quote][p][bold]Alan Macnab[/bold] wrote: Laughing Boy 51. I don't have an other full time job. I was made redundant from work nearly 5 years ago and receive a small occupational pension. It isn't a top up nor is it a nice little earner as I have explained above.. I actually enjoy helping people. Taking on their problems and trying to sort them out.[/p][/quote]Well, Sir, you are one of the few.........I take my hat off to you! laughingboy51
  • Score: 21

8:46pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Darloresident says...

As usual Puffing Billy and his cronies do not lose one penny of their outrageous salaries.
All in this together??
As usual Puffing Billy and his cronies do not lose one penny of their outrageous salaries. All in this together?? Darloresident
  • Score: 18

9:51pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Got Ya says...

Come on you mugs..........those of you who voted for Michael Fallon as your MP in the 1980's put your hands up!
Now that he's MP for Sevenoaks he's stuffing you for his friends in the south and that's the reason for budget cuts in Darlington.
Yes he's the man who accepted Duncan Bannantyne's money to set up a company running private nurseries.
Come on you mugs..........those of you who voted for Michael Fallon as your MP in the 1980's put your hands up! Now that he's MP for Sevenoaks he's stuffing you for his friends in the south and that's the reason for budget cuts in Darlington. Yes he's the man who accepted Duncan Bannantyne's money to set up a company running private nurseries. Got Ya
  • Score: -4

9:51pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Homshaw1 says...

I have no problem with people being paid the rate for the job but some of the job titles leave you wondering whether they represent any sort of value for money for the people of Darlington and many seem to cover the same areas. I think there must be someone employed to dream up job titles.
There is still massive overstaffing and a poor work ethic.

As for councillors if they did their jobs I would not worry about their allowances. Where I live the streets are a disgrace. The same bits of litter can be untouched for weeks. The councillors don't live in their ward and are totally ineffective. Their only role seems to be to make excuses for non-performing council departments.
I have no problem with people being paid the rate for the job but some of the job titles leave you wondering whether they represent any sort of value for money for the people of Darlington and many seem to cover the same areas. I think there must be someone employed to dream up job titles. There is still massive overstaffing and a poor work ethic. As for councillors if they did their jobs I would not worry about their allowances. Where I live the streets are a disgrace. The same bits of litter can be untouched for weeks. The councillors don't live in their ward and are totally ineffective. Their only role seems to be to make excuses for non-performing council departments. Homshaw1
  • Score: 23

10:15pm Sun 2 Mar 14

loan_star says...

Alan Macnab wrote:
Laughing Boy 51. I don't have an other full time job. I was made redundant from work nearly 5 years ago and receive a small occupational pension. It isn't a top up nor is it a nice little earner as I have explained above.. I actually enjoy helping people. Taking on their problems and trying to sort them out.
I'm sure the staff that are having to take pay cuts will have the same issue with it not being a nice little earner. Yet they have no choice in the matter, they just have to accept it. So why can't councillors do the same?
[quote][p][bold]Alan Macnab[/bold] wrote: Laughing Boy 51. I don't have an other full time job. I was made redundant from work nearly 5 years ago and receive a small occupational pension. It isn't a top up nor is it a nice little earner as I have explained above.. I actually enjoy helping people. Taking on their problems and trying to sort them out.[/p][/quote]I'm sure the staff that are having to take pay cuts will have the same issue with it not being a nice little earner. Yet they have no choice in the matter, they just have to accept it. So why can't councillors do the same? loan_star
  • Score: 14

10:27pm Sun 2 Mar 14

grandmab says...

If all councilors accepted an "expenses only" remuneration I would have more respect for them. For most it is a second job and some own businesses. I do however object to keeping the higher paid administrators and getting rid of the front line workers.The administrators do not go out and clean the streets, they do not police our neighborhoods. They do not look after our children or elderly. We have" too many Chiefs and not enough Indians" to quote a North American saying. They should be required to live in their ward. One of ours lives on the other side of town and is more concerned with that ward than ours.
If all councilors accepted an "expenses only" remuneration I would have more respect for them. For most it is a second job and some own businesses. I do however object to keeping the higher paid administrators and getting rid of the front line workers.The administrators do not go out and clean the streets, they do not police our neighborhoods. They do not look after our children or elderly. We have" too many Chiefs and not enough Indians" to quote a North American saying. They should be required to live in their ward. One of ours lives on the other side of town and is more concerned with that ward than ours. grandmab
  • Score: 16

10:49pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Red rose lad says...

BMD wrote:
Darlington Councils Top Earners

Chief Executive = £185,713
Director of Resources = £137,134
Director of People = £137,134
Director of Place = £109,739
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £90,060
Assistant Director = £88,875
Assistant Director = £87,690
Assistant Director = £82,950
Assistant Director = £79,987

Total: £1,496,983

A 10% deduction from the councils top earners could also contribute £149,698 per year + the £60,000 Councillor reduction proposed by Bill Stenson, the result is a £209,698 saving!

Now wouldn’t that please their Union comrades - Remember Bill Dixon "We are all in it Together"
It's not just the salaries that are outrageous, it's the bloody number of them. How many assistants directors does one need? It's obscene. Your typical organisational structure should be pyramid shaped. This organisational structure looks like a profile of Dolly Parton - way too top heavy (no offence intended). It's time that we had Sir John Harvey Jones' (may he rest in peace) successor in as a troubleshooter. Day one before tea break would be a bonfire of the irrelevants. Cut out the crap and get the firm back on track. Let's not forget, they are here to provide us with a service not justify their own existence. Stop cutting the services and get rid of some dead wood please.
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Darlington Councils Top Earners Chief Executive = £185,713 Director of Resources = £137,134 Director of People = £137,134 Director of Place = £109,739 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £90,060 Assistant Director = £88,875 Assistant Director = £87,690 Assistant Director = £82,950 Assistant Director = £79,987 Total: £1,496,983 A 10% deduction from the councils top earners could also contribute £149,698 per year + the £60,000 Councillor reduction proposed by Bill Stenson, the result is a £209,698 saving! Now wouldn’t that please their Union comrades - Remember Bill Dixon "We are all in it Together"[/p][/quote]It's not just the salaries that are outrageous, it's the bloody number of them. How many assistants directors does one need? It's obscene. Your typical organisational structure should be pyramid shaped. This organisational structure looks like a profile of Dolly Parton - way too top heavy (no offence intended). It's time that we had Sir John Harvey Jones' (may he rest in peace) successor in as a troubleshooter. Day one before tea break would be a bonfire of the irrelevants. Cut out the crap and get the firm back on track. Let's not forget, they are here to provide us with a service not justify their own existence. Stop cutting the services and get rid of some dead wood please. Red rose lad
  • Score: 26

11:55pm Sun 2 Mar 14

robbersdog says...

Isn't it time that Darlington stopped wasting money and became part of County Durham again? We don't need this extra layer of bureaucracy.
Isn't it time that Darlington stopped wasting money and became part of County Durham again? We don't need this extra layer of bureaucracy. robbersdog
  • Score: 7

5:23am Mon 3 Mar 14

BMD says...

Alan Macnab wrote:
I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?'
Councillor Bill Stenson has suggested a 10% pay cut for councillors, this includes himself - This has not been suggested by the electorate.

I also noticed you have only quoted a basic allowance of £8,027 per year and failed to include pension, travel and subsistence (outside Borough boarders), special responsibility allowance, dependent carer’s allowance and Co-Optees allowance.
[quote][p][bold]Alan Macnab[/bold] wrote: I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?'[/p][/quote]Councillor Bill Stenson has suggested a 10% pay cut for councillors, this includes himself - This has not been suggested by the electorate. I also noticed you have only quoted a basic allowance of £8,027 per year and failed to include pension, travel and subsistence (outside Borough boarders), special responsibility allowance, dependent carer’s allowance and Co-Optees allowance. BMD
  • Score: 11

8:35am Mon 3 Mar 14

Madadrian says...

Alan Macnab wrote:
I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?'
I wrked with several local councillors in the 1960s and 70s. They all did the job for expenses only. It did not use to be a salaried position.
[quote][p][bold]Alan Macnab[/bold] wrote: I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?'[/p][/quote]I wrked with several local councillors in the 1960s and 70s. They all did the job for expenses only. It did not use to be a salaried position. Madadrian
  • Score: 19

8:55am Mon 3 Mar 14

Homshaw1 says...

robbersdog wrote:
Isn't it time that Darlington stopped wasting money and became part of County Durham again? We don't need this extra layer of bureaucracy.
I agree with this. It is costing us millions.

As for the councillors. If you are not labour you have no say and if you are you tow the line dictated by a handful at the top who in turn seem to be dictated to by council officials following their own agenda. Is this truly democracy in action?

Don't know about Mr McNab but the area I live in is poorly served by the councillors. The streets are dirty. The councillors don't live in the area. They just deign to make a tour of inspection when forced to. They are not worth anything.
[quote][p][bold]robbersdog[/bold] wrote: Isn't it time that Darlington stopped wasting money and became part of County Durham again? We don't need this extra layer of bureaucracy.[/p][/quote]I agree with this. It is costing us millions. As for the councillors. If you are not labour you have no say and if you are you tow the line dictated by a handful at the top who in turn seem to be dictated to by council officials following their own agenda. Is this truly democracy in action? Don't know about Mr McNab but the area I live in is poorly served by the councillors. The streets are dirty. The councillors don't live in the area. They just deign to make a tour of inspection when forced to. They are not worth anything. Homshaw1
  • Score: 22

9:28am Mon 3 Mar 14

Red rose lad says...

robbersdog wrote:
Isn't it time that Darlington stopped wasting money and became part of County Durham again? We don't need this extra layer of bureaucracy.
Good point and well made but unfortunately self-interest rules. They bang on about sharing services with other councils but look to the Tees Valley councils rather than Durham. There is incredible waste for all of the other agencies which work with Darlington Council. The Police, Fire and NHS are all aligned with Durham and all of these organisations duplicate effort and procedures when dealing with Darlington Council. It must surely make more sense to align with these organisations and Durham rather than look to Stockton and Hartlepool. That's the elephant in the room.
[quote][p][bold]robbersdog[/bold] wrote: Isn't it time that Darlington stopped wasting money and became part of County Durham again? We don't need this extra layer of bureaucracy.[/p][/quote]Good point and well made but unfortunately self-interest rules. They bang on about sharing services with other councils but look to the Tees Valley councils rather than Durham. There is incredible waste for all of the other agencies which work with Darlington Council. The Police, Fire and NHS are all aligned with Durham and all of these organisations duplicate effort and procedures when dealing with Darlington Council. It must surely make more sense to align with these organisations and Durham rather than look to Stockton and Hartlepool. That's the elephant in the room. Red rose lad
  • Score: 12

10:56am Mon 3 Mar 14

harrowgatehilldave says...

Having read this thread I think several important points emerge.

Councillors are not particularly well paid and some like Councillor McNab do justify their pay by what they do but at the same time they are not all as hardworking and there are many of them. 50 x £80000 is £400,000 a year to find from 100,000 people in the town ie £4.00 per head.

But the biggest saving must be from overpaid staff at the Town Hall. We can cut Cockerton Library or get rid of Ada Burns' salary. We can get rid of the Head of Steam, Stressholme Golf Course or retain other ineffective people in overpaid posts.

The first thing needed is to rid ourselves of a Labour controlled council who simply don't consider the redundancies that are needed at the top but are quite happy to reduce the lower-paid by £2000 per year
Having read this thread I think several important points emerge. Councillors are not particularly well paid and some like Councillor McNab do justify their pay by what they do but at the same time they are not all as hardworking and there are many of them. 50 x £80000 is £400,000 a year to find from 100,000 people in the town ie £4.00 per head. But the biggest saving must be from overpaid staff at the Town Hall. We can cut Cockerton Library or get rid of Ada Burns' salary. We can get rid of the Head of Steam, Stressholme Golf Course or retain other ineffective people in overpaid posts. The first thing needed is to rid ourselves of a Labour controlled council who simply don't consider the redundancies that are needed at the top but are quite happy to reduce the lower-paid by £2000 per year harrowgatehilldave
  • Score: 15

12:45pm Mon 3 Mar 14

D. Hop says...

Whilst I don't disagree with your post ^^^, redundancies can be an expensive process particularly for high earners / upper management. I'd be fairly sure that's the councils take.
Whilst I don't disagree with your post ^^^, redundancies can be an expensive process particularly for high earners / upper management. I'd be fairly sure that's the councils take. D. Hop
  • Score: 3

2:48pm Mon 3 Mar 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

I can't imagine any one of the high earners taking even a 1% pay cut can you?

They've never led by example before so why should they start now? We all know they're scum, they know we know, so they have nothing left to fear. Not even the spectre of being kicked out at the next elections as the Darlington folk seem oblivious to any other party.
I can't imagine any one of the high earners taking even a 1% pay cut can you? They've never led by example before so why should they start now? We all know they're scum, they know we know, so they have nothing left to fear. Not even the spectre of being kicked out at the next elections as the Darlington folk seem oblivious to any other party. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 13

7:16pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Lifetime Townie says...

D. Hop wrote:
Whilst I don't disagree with your post ^^^, redundancies can be an expensive process particularly for high earners / upper management. I'd be fairly sure that's the councils take.
Some of the upper management can be considered as being incompetent at their job so don't really need to be classed as redundant. Just sack them as being no good at their job as would happen in any industry! Redefine the post and engage another person at a lesser salary as did happen with the lower ranks.
[quote][p][bold]D. Hop[/bold] wrote: Whilst I don't disagree with your post ^^^, redundancies can be an expensive process particularly for high earners / upper management. I'd be fairly sure that's the councils take.[/p][/quote]Some of the upper management can be considered as being incompetent at their job so don't really need to be classed as redundant. Just sack them as being no good at their job as would happen in any industry! Redefine the post and engage another person at a lesser salary as did happen with the lower ranks. Lifetime Townie
  • Score: 15

7:19pm Mon 3 Mar 14

D. Hop says...

Here's hoping!
Here's hoping! D. Hop
  • Score: 8

7:48pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Spy Boy says...

Check here . . . .
http://www.darlingto
n.gov.uk/Democracy/e
lectedrepresentative
s/Members+Allowances
.htm

and here. . . .
http://www.darlingto
n.gov.uk/Generic/cou
ncilinfo/Financial/f
inancial.htm

and here . . .
http://www.darlingto
n.gov.uk/Democracy/d
emocraticinvolvement
/Cabinet.htm

and here. Click on the lines highlighted in blue for the info you need. See how our execs have been raking it in over the last few years of turmoil. This is not that easy to find from the header page. It will come up as a Word or Excel document.
http://www.darlingto
n.gov.uk/Generic/cou
ncilinfo/workforcein
formation.htm
Check here . . . . http://www.darlingto n.gov.uk/Democracy/e lectedrepresentative s/Members+Allowances .htm and here. . . . http://www.darlingto n.gov.uk/Generic/cou ncilinfo/Financial/f inancial.htm and here . . . http://www.darlingto n.gov.uk/Democracy/d emocraticinvolvement /Cabinet.htm and here. Click on the lines highlighted in blue for the info you need. See how our execs have been raking it in over the last few years of turmoil. This is not that easy to find from the header page. It will come up as a Word or Excel document. http://www.darlingto n.gov.uk/Generic/cou ncilinfo/workforcein formation.htm Spy Boy
  • Score: 7

8:02pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Spy Boy says...

I've met Alan McNab and Fred Lawton. They seem to be grounded individuals and are both Lib Dems. The job of Councillor can be time intensive and we get regular info from them in our area. We only hear from so called 'Labour' ( In it to win it ) and Tory wannabes when the local elections are coming up. All our Councillors are elected, though I'm not happy with the scheme as it appears to be run here, where people choose a rosette depending on the area. ( If these people are socialists, I ain't. You only have to spend a few minutes talking to them to see just how they all follow the script and how often they change the script to suit the latest Dixon Directive.)
The people who are not elected are the boat load of un-affordable Council Execs, none of which has lost a penny or a job during the run down of the council posts. Apart from being massively overpaid, they are un-elected. They are put there by Dixon and Co. We could lose these people without any problems. Over paid and ineffective. In any stagnant pond, we all know what floats to the top.
I've met Alan McNab and Fred Lawton. They seem to be grounded individuals and are both Lib Dems. The job of Councillor can be time intensive and we get regular info from them in our area. We only hear from so called 'Labour' ( In it to win it ) and Tory wannabes when the local elections are coming up. All our Councillors are elected, though I'm not happy with the scheme as it appears to be run here, where people choose a rosette depending on the area. ( If these people are socialists, I ain't. You only have to spend a few minutes talking to them to see just how they all follow the script and how often they change the script to suit the latest Dixon Directive.) The people who are not elected are the boat load of un-affordable Council Execs, none of which has lost a penny or a job during the run down of the council posts. Apart from being massively overpaid, they are un-elected. They are put there by Dixon and Co. We could lose these people without any problems. Over paid and ineffective. In any stagnant pond, we all know what floats to the top. Spy Boy
  • Score: 11

7:35pm Tue 4 Mar 14

cushybutterfield says...

Apart from conservative councillors, on a more general note, if nearly 'half the local authority Council Workers' were made redundant tomorrow,, they would not be missed. Even local litter **unpaid clean-up volunteers and such like do a better job and are actually *******seen sweeping streets'*****and ****seen**** working around the' local streets and estates'. The last time I saw ANY council worker sweeping my street was in July 1969.
Apart from conservative councillors, on a more general note, if nearly 'half the local authority Council Workers' were made redundant tomorrow,, they would not be missed. Even local litter **unpaid clean-up volunteers and such like do a better job and are actually *******seen sweeping streets'*****and ****seen**** working around the' local streets and estates'. The last time I saw ANY council worker sweeping my street was in July 1969. cushybutterfield
  • Score: -2

6:12pm Wed 5 Mar 14

ianh says...

Personally i dont have a problem with the pay levels of borough cllrs. In truth most of them, of all parties (and whether you agree with them or not) work long hrs for little renumeration and even less appreciation.

However given that even by Mr Dixons own words, DBC will soon approach delivering only core , legally required services, why has the salary of Ada not been reduced to accord with this reduced level of service?. For a council the size of dbc to have a chief exec on a salary of £180 + in the current circumstances is indeed obscene.
Personally i dont have a problem with the pay levels of borough cllrs. In truth most of them, of all parties (and whether you agree with them or not) work long hrs for little renumeration and even less appreciation. However given that even by Mr Dixons own words, DBC will soon approach delivering only core , legally required services, why has the salary of Ada not been reduced to accord with this reduced level of service?. For a council the size of dbc to have a chief exec on a salary of £180 + in the current circumstances is indeed obscene. ianh
  • Score: 10

7:35pm Wed 5 Mar 14

spragger says...

One can never understand why these wages have to change, as the employee happily signed the contract on the rates of pay available at the time.
- The only loser will be the Taxpayer
- Its all about equality of opportunity, not the socialist version of outcome
One can never understand why these wages have to change, as the employee happily signed the contract on the rates of pay available at the time. - The only loser will be the Taxpayer - Its all about equality of opportunity, not the socialist version of outcome spragger
  • Score: 1

7:37pm Wed 5 Mar 14

spragger says...

BMD wrote:
Darlington Councils Top Earners

Chief Executive = £185,713
Director of Resources = £137,134
Director of People = £137,134
Director of Place = £109,739
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £99,540
Assistant Director = £90,060
Assistant Director = £88,875
Assistant Director = £87,690
Assistant Director = £82,950
Assistant Director = £79,987

Total: £1,496,983

A 10% deduction from the councils top earners could also contribute £149,698 per year + the £60,000 Councillor reduction proposed by Bill Stenson, the result is a £209,698 saving!

Now wouldn’t that please their Union comrades - Remember Bill Dixon "We are all in it Together"
What the taxpayer miss any of them?
That one and a half million saved per annum year on year ..
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Darlington Councils Top Earners Chief Executive = £185,713 Director of Resources = £137,134 Director of People = £137,134 Director of Place = £109,739 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £99,540 Assistant Director = £90,060 Assistant Director = £88,875 Assistant Director = £87,690 Assistant Director = £82,950 Assistant Director = £79,987 Total: £1,496,983 A 10% deduction from the councils top earners could also contribute £149,698 per year + the £60,000 Councillor reduction proposed by Bill Stenson, the result is a £209,698 saving! Now wouldn’t that please their Union comrades - Remember Bill Dixon "We are all in it Together"[/p][/quote]What the taxpayer miss any of them? That one and a half million saved per annum year on year .. spragger
  • Score: 6

7:40pm Wed 5 Mar 14

spragger says...

Alan Macnab wrote:
I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?'
The taxpayer bought your laptop as well
It was once done on a voluntary basis, why not again. That would provide more help to the taxpayer, than being provided by most Councillors
[quote][p][bold]Alan Macnab[/bold] wrote: I am a Borough Councillor in Darlington. I receive the basic allowance of £8,027 per year only. Out of that there are deductions for income tax, NI and pension. I also am required to pay for all my telephone calls on Council business out of my allowance. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year. I carry out the majority of correspondence at home using my laptop and do not receive any allowance for that or the electricity consumed in carrying out my Council duties. I have written 128 emalls in January and 170 emails in February on a whole host of subjects raised by residents in the ward. On top of this there are numerous meetings in the ward and at the Town Hall which take place during the day and in the evening. I am not unusual, We Councillors in Darlington are a hard working bunch of people. Now my question is 'would anyone want to do this job if they know that the pay was so poor?'[/p][/quote]The taxpayer bought your laptop as well It was once done on a voluntary basis, why not again. That would provide more help to the taxpayer, than being provided by most Councillors spragger
  • Score: 6

2:42pm Thu 6 Mar 14

cushybutterfield says...

The problem is nowadays many people at various levels get ***rewarded for FAILURE' and walk away with massive pay-outs, similar to the now greedy out of control,....' riddled with systematic abuse again',...... at all level's of the so called, *****Compensation culture***. If you know who to manipulate the Banking Compensation Systems and/or Legal Systems you can make 'fraudulent Hundreds of Thousands' and even 'Millions'..
The problem is nowadays many people at various levels get ***rewarded for FAILURE' and walk away with massive pay-outs, similar to the now greedy out of control,....' riddled with systematic abuse again',...... at all level's of the so called, *****Compensation culture***. If you know who to manipulate the Banking Compensation Systems and/or Legal Systems you can make 'fraudulent Hundreds of Thousands' and even 'Millions'.. cushybutterfield
  • Score: -3

2:17pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Liamsm says...

Let's be honest though it's always been a cushy number working for DBC. I worked as a bricklayer for DBC for 2 years and it was the best job I've ever had. We worked about 4 hrs a day, the rest was either travelling back to the depot for breaks or sat in the van travelling. I agree they should hit the big earners but if truth be known if the lower earners were paid what work they actually did it would be a far great cut than 10%. They've had it good for so long and now they have to go through what private sector employees have had to go through for decades now they don't like it. It's simple accept it or do what I did and find another job!!
Let's be honest though it's always been a cushy number working for DBC. I worked as a bricklayer for DBC for 2 years and it was the best job I've ever had. We worked about 4 hrs a day, the rest was either travelling back to the depot for breaks or sat in the van travelling. I agree they should hit the big earners but if truth be known if the lower earners were paid what work they actually did it would be a far great cut than 10%. They've had it good for so long and now they have to go through what private sector employees have had to go through for decades now they don't like it. It's simple accept it or do what I did and find another job!! Liamsm
  • Score: 2

9:35pm Sat 8 Mar 14

cushybutterfield says...

Liasm, well done a guy for has the ' moral fibre and guts' to point out that when he worked for 'the Council it was on average FOR ONLY 'FOUR HOURS A DAY' (instead of ' 8 or more'), over a period of TWO WHOLE YEARS.. Its therefore a 'fair bet' that if an in depth ******national council 'time and motion study****' was carried out (the Unions would immediately object, obstruct and refuse of course), on ALL 'OTHER national British Councils'. It begs the ****question would some other council employees (not all of course) throughout the country,' be also be similarly 'exposed ? and found to be 'doing only' (if that) on average, 'FOUR HOURS ONLY',......... (Or perhaps less in some cases), ' as 'described and similar to' Liasm......instead of 'EIGHT hours' (or more) that they were originally 'contracted, employed and paid for'................
.......It ' begs further the question?,, are some 'Council workers (not all again of course) again through -out the country, manipulating some working practices' It begs another question ? is it.still. Common,? or' even ramped' ?, and if so, have some perhaps 'shocking work avoidance practices' been 'going on 'undetected' for years'.?,. Perhaps due to sheer poor....... mis- management'.......Ar
e some Councils ? 'riddled' (or not) with a number of..........'.Bone idle' and absent without leave', manipulating, 'time-takers' and 'other shocking malingering practices',........ it makes you think certainly after Liasm's 'honest forthright example, ........ which would never be' tolerated' in most other 'private British Industries..........
..........no wonder 'most 'jobs' with 'most British Council's are and have been 'defined and described' by the 'British public' for years as ..... 'Cushy Numbers'......The ****** 'Cushy Number Council Mentality******', have some so called working practices been ' cleverly hidden and 'covered up ?.',. After all I have NEVER seen ANY Council 'Street cleaner (now called by the daft name Operatives') in my street for * DECADES....*******Co
uncil Workers. they.'.just never had it so good' (and always have), , all at the British working' 'Council Ratepayers expense'.
Liasm, well done a guy for has the ' moral fibre and guts' to point out that when he worked for 'the Council it was on average FOR ONLY 'FOUR HOURS A DAY' (instead of ' 8 or more'), over a period of TWO WHOLE YEARS.. Its therefore a 'fair bet' that if an in depth ******national council 'time and motion study****' was carried out (the Unions would immediately object, obstruct and refuse of course), on ALL 'OTHER national British Councils'. It begs the ****question would some other council employees (not all of course) throughout the country,' be also be similarly 'exposed ? and found to be 'doing only' (if that) on average, 'FOUR HOURS ONLY',......... (Or perhaps less in some cases), ' as 'described and similar to' Liasm......instead of 'EIGHT hours' (or more) that they were originally 'contracted, employed and paid for'................ .......It ' begs further the question?,, are some 'Council workers (not all again of course) again through -out the country, manipulating some working practices' It begs another question ? is it.still. Common,? or' even ramped' ?, and if so, have some perhaps 'shocking work avoidance practices' been 'going on 'undetected' for years'.?,. Perhaps due to sheer poor....... mis- management'.......Ar e some Councils ? 'riddled' (or not) with a number of..........'.Bone idle' and absent without leave', manipulating, 'time-takers' and 'other shocking malingering practices',........ it makes you think certainly after Liasm's 'honest forthright example, ........ which would never be' tolerated' in most other 'private British Industries.......... ..........no wonder 'most 'jobs' with 'most British Council's are and have been 'defined and described' by the 'British public' for years as ..... 'Cushy Numbers'......The ****** 'Cushy Number Council Mentality******', have some so called working practices been ' cleverly hidden and 'covered up ?.',. After all I have NEVER seen ANY Council 'Street cleaner (now called by the daft name Operatives') in my street for * DECADES....*******Co uncil Workers. they.'.just never had it so good' (and always have), , all at the British working' 'Council Ratepayers expense'. cushybutterfield
  • Score: 0

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