WHEN details of the whopping salaries paid to council chiefs are revealed each year it rarely fails to raise the hackles of many readers.

It can be particularly galling to read that town hall bosses are raking in salaries in excess of £100,000 a year in places where councils are pleading poverty, closing vital and much-loved public services, and demanding more and more in council tax.

Many rank-and-file staff at local councils also express dismay that at a time when councils are agreeing very low pay rises or freezing pay it appears that some of the money they are saving is being used to line the pockets of the highest paid executives.

Several council chief executives in our region take home more than the £143,462 annual salary that Theresa May gets for leading the country, the Conservative Party and overseeing the hugely complicated Brexit process.

Is that fair and should council bosses be forced to take big pay cuts? 
Well, cutting chief executive salaries will not make a meaningful dent in the level of savings councils have to make. And let’s not forget that it is cuts imposed by central government that are forcing councils to axe services. Mrs May and her ministers are ploughing ahead with the austerity measures started by George Osborne – now there’s a man who knows all about raking in huge salaries for not much effort – with little regard for the impact it is having on vulnerable people.

For most people a £150,000-plus salary sounds like a small fortune but it’s less than most University vice chancellors receive, and lags way behind private sector CEOs. 

Mrs May would be quite happy for scaremongering over council chief executive pay to continue because it deflects attention away from the Government’s non-stop cuts regime, but if you want highly qualified administrators then you need to pay the going rate.