By Jonathan Isaby
Today's Daily Telegraph reveals the identity of the highest paid employee in either central or local government last year as Phil Dolan, who received £569,000 (of taxpayers' money) in salary, pension and redundancy payments after leaving his post as chief executive of South Somerset district council.
Mr Dolan was handed £569,000 last year after taking "voluntary redundancy". He received his normal salary of £157,000, including the notice period. He also collected a redundancy payment of £167,000, even though he had worked for the council for just six years.
Last night, the council said the redundancy payment covered 20 years of work for other local authorities – an arrangement that would be highly unusual in the private sector. The council also agreed to pay an extra £239,000 into Mr Dolan's gold-plated pension scheme to cover payments that would have been made had he continued working until 65.The remaining £6,000 of his record payment covered lost benefits.
Bob Neill, the local government minister, responded by saying:
"These are eyewatering sums of money and raise serious questions about the financial credibility of the council. Bumper payoffs like this are completely unacceptable and show a breathtaking lack of respect for public money."
Mr Dolan, meanwhile, is apparently insisting that he has been treated in exactly the same way as a "street cleaner". Astounding.