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Bexley "excessive" council salaries "will never be open to debate"

PUBLISHED: 14:17 22 September 2011 | UPDATED: 14:17 22 September 2011

Campaigner Elwyn Bryant

Campaigner Elwyn Bryant

Archant

More than 1, 000 residents have signed a petition against the "excessive" salaries of senior council staff.

Organised by Elwyn Bryant, 75, of Salisbury Road, Bexley, and other members of the Bexley Council Monitoring Group, they had hoped that once the 2,000 signature mark had been reached the issue would be debated at a full council meeting. However, Bexley insist that this will never happen.

Mr Bryant said: “People are shocked and need to realise how much the chief executive gets. When people are struggling to earn £200 a week and they are earning over £3,000 a week, it’s excessive.”

Will Tuckley, chief executive, has a salary of £185,397. On top of this, he receives an allowance of £7,077 which is taken as a lump sum or as a contribution towards a lease car, as well as a hospitality and expenses allowance of £2,829.

Residents are also angry about the salaries of the director of education and social care, Mark Charters, and the director of environment and wellbeing, Peter Ellershaw. Other targets for their ire are director of finance and resources, Mike Ellsmore, and Paul Moore, director of customer and corporate services. They are all said to be on more than £100,000 a year.

In June, Eric Pickles, the communities and local government secretary, said that few council employees should expect to earn more than £100,000.

A spokesperson for Bexley Council said: “The council has reduced the benefits available to senior staff, made no cost of living award for three years and asked managers to undertake even broader and more demanding roles as a result of cutting the number of director- level posts by 33 per cent.”

It was added that the salaries reflect the need for skilled and committed staff.

It would not be “appropriate or constitutional” for salaries of senior staff to be discussed at a council meeting, it was added.

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