PM in attack on Suffolk chief’s salary

PRIME Minister David Cameron has backed demands that Suffolk chief executive Andrea Hill should take a pay cut.

He joined the calls for her to take a pay cut as it emerged that Essex chief executive Joanna Killian, is to take a five per cent pay cut.

Ms Killian earns even more than Mrs Hill – a total of �247,000 a year – but her pay cut is unlikely to satisfy the government.

Local government secretary Eric Pickles has suggested council chiefs earning more than �200,000 a year should take a 10% pay cut.

Mrs Hill’s �218,000 salary was raised at Prime Minister’s Question Time by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Daniel Poulter.

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He had the last question during the 30-minute session.

He told Mr Cameron: “My constituents welcome the fact that the Prime Minister is showing an example in taking a pay cut.”

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He then asked: “Is he aware that the chief executive of Suffolk County Council earns �218,000 a year and would he join me in asking her to follow his example and take a reduction in her salary?”

The Prime Minister replied: “Yes. I support the need for restraint and pay reductions at a time like this.

“Eric Pickles will be keeping up the pressure on local authorities to ensure they get the message.”

Dr Poulter won a place in the ballot to ask a question at PMQs – but had feared he had lost his chance.

“My question was the last he answered. I began to fear I would be timed out,” he said.

The Suffolk MP had planned to ask a question about broadband provision in the rural areas of his constituency.

“But this morning I thought; ‘What is the issue that my constituents would like an answer to?’ and I realised they are very concerned about top people’s pay – especially at the county council.”

Mr Cameron’s reply comes 10 days after council chief executives were told to take pay cuts by Mr Pickles during a speech at the Conservative Party conference.

However there seems little chance of any change at Endeavour House.

A spokeswoman for the county council said: “Suffolk County Council’s Chief Executive’s salary has always been in the public domain as we maintain full transparency. We have no further comment to make.”

At the time of Mr Pickles’s speech, Suffolk cabinet member Guy McGregor said: “I appreciate the appointment and the salary of the chief executive has attracted comment and controversy.

“But Suffolk is a very well-run council and has an exceptional leader of the paid service to implement very tough decisions that face us over the next few years.”

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