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1.45pm: The LGA has just issued a press release which confirms that the LGA CEO will be taking a pay cut to under £100,000. A 66% cut must be about the largest so far in top public sector pay:

SUBSTANTIAL REDUCTIONS TO SENIOR MANAGEMENT COSTS IN LG GROUP ANNOUNCED
 
The political leadership of the Local Government Association today confirmed its strategy for the executive leadership of the Local Government Group for the coming months.

Baroness Eaton, Chairman of the LGA, said: "Over the past few days there has been widespread comment in the media about senior management costs at the LGA. We have decided to make public our plans for transforming and substantially reducing our costs.

The political leadership of the LGA has every confidence in John Ransford in his role as chief executive. Over the past two years he has worked tirelessly to make the whole Group more effective and efficient. John had always intended to retire when his contract came to an end on 31 December 2010. We expressly asked John to stay on to create an integrated organisation, take 30 per cent out of our overall staffing costs and substantially reduce senior management costs through a smaller executive team.

A new senior team will be appointed next summer by the leading members appointed at the Group's General Assembly in June. Terms and conditions will be completely revised after advice from our independent remuneration committee, in the light of the sector's financial position and expectations.

In the interim, John Ransford will lead the organisation for significantly reduced pay. We have re-negotiated his contract terms so his salary will be less than £100,000 and there will be no employer pension contribution. He will leave when the new executive team is in place.

We are delighted that John will continue to lead the Group for the time being to see through a programme of major transformation for a greatly reduced cost. We are determined to represent our sector robustly, effectively and at a reasonable cost to councils at a time of immense financial pressures."

***

TIMES

The following letter from (mostly) Conservative council leaders and group leaders appears in The Times this morning:

Sir, The Local Government Association’s decision to award a £70,000 pay rise to John Ransford, its chief executive, is simply not acceptable in the current climate. Town halls up and down the country are having to make tough decisions on cuts as funding shrinks. For the LGA to pay its chief executive £302,840, double that of the Prime Minister, shows a complete lack of regard to its members and their finances; after all, this is taxpayers’ money.

The LGA should be leading by example. Some have argued that Mr Ransford should take a 10 per cent pay cut. We suggest that this should be the starting point.

Cllr David Burbage
Leader, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Cllr Edward Lister
Leader, London Borough of Wandsworth

Cllr Sean Brennan
Leader, London Borough of Sutton

Cllr Peter Jones
Leader, East Sussex County Council

Cllr Matthew Colledge
Leader, Trafford Council

Cllr Mark Hawthorne
Leader, Gloucestershire County Council

Cllr Katherine Cutts
Leader, Nottinghamshire County Council

Cllr Adrian Hardman
Leader, Worcestershire County Council

Cllr Philip Atkins
Leader, Staffordshire County Council

Cllr R.J. Wheeler
Leader, South Derbyshire District Council

Dr Andrew Povey
Leader, Surrey County Council

Cllr David Lee
Leader, Wokingham Borough Council

Cllr Lesley Clarke
Leader, Wycombe District Council

Cllr Andrew Cumpsty
Leader, Reading Borough Council

Cllr Harvey Jennings
Leader, Derby City Council

Cllr Stuart Bradford
Leader, Amber Valley District Council

Cllr John Campion
Leader, Wyre Forest District Council

Cllr Brian Lomax
Leader, Daventry District Council

Cllr Malise Graham
Leader, Melton Borough Council

Cllr Andrew Eade
Leader, Telford & The Wrekin Council

Cllr Richard Austin
Leader, Boston Borough Council

Cllr Peter Dale-Gough
Dep Leader Conservatives, Slough Borough Council

Cllr Carole Ellis
Leader Conservatives, Bedford Borough Council

Cllr Debbie Shears
Leader Conservatives, London Borough of Merton

Cllr Reg Colwill
Dep Leader Conservatives, London Borough of Brent

Cllr Susan Hall
Leader Conservatives, London Borough of Harrow

Cllr Howard Jones
Leader Conservatives, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Cllr B.R Edwards
Leader, South Staffordshire Council

Cllr Matt Davis
Leader Conservatives, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Cllr Marion Brighton
Leader, North Kesteven District Council

38 comments for: Council leaders demand LGA Chief Exec should take a pay cut

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