Len Jacklin, Labour’s candidate for the Oulton Broad Waveney District Council by-election on 21 September has condemned the failure of Tory-led Suffolk County Council to hire a new Chief Executive:

‘This week Suffolk County Council (SCC) failed to choose a new Chief Executive. This failure has already cost us, the ratepayer, £37,000.

‘The pay packet for the last Chief Executive has been £170,000 a year to which you then add the pension payments the Council makes, so the total cost to the Council is £214,000 a year.

‘Most organisations including SCC pay a contribution into employee pensions, in addition to paying their salary. This is to ensure that the employee has an income when they cease to earn.

‘The Suffolk Tories have proposed that they will pay the new executive the salary of £170,000 plus £44,000 because the proposed new person does not want to pay into a pension. So, the new executive will not have any deductions from their pay and an increased salary of £44,000 a year. That, we are told, is how the new employee wants it, so they get a gross salary of £214,000.

‘I believe in freedom of choice. It’s a right, but – and here’s the rub – this particular freedom is not available to any other employees, they have to pay into a pension, and if they choose not to, the Council say ok we will keep our contribution: tough. No option for the lady in the highways department or the man in social services to have the extra money in their pay packet.

‘They have to accept 1% a year grudgingly handed down by the Council, unlike the last Chief Executive who as recently as March received a massive increase, and the leader and Council cabinet who handed themselves a hefty pay increase.

‘The Tories are so arrogant they simply do not see how obscene this behaviour is. They cut, cut, cut others and grab, grab, grab for themselves. Labour oppose, and will always vote against, this ‘I’m all right Jack’ mentality.

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