Sudbury: Public tell county council bosses to cut their pay
PUBLISHED: 12:05 16 March 2011
TOP earners at Suffolk County Council were told to "set an example'' by cutting their own salaries at a packed public meeting last night.
Representatives from County Hall were met with jeers from more than 100 people at Sudbury Town Hall as they endeavoured to explain why services had to be cut and sacrifices made to meet Government funding cuts.
Feelings were made clear at Sudbury Town Council’s annual general meeting - attended by just one person last year - when county council assistant director Andrew Gutteridge and councillor Colin Spence explained the changes facing the authority.
Mr Gutteridge said it was unthinkable services, such as libraries and country parks, could continue to be run in the same way when cuts of up to £125million were expected over the next four years,
Mr Spence said: “In 35 years I have never experienced anything like this. This is very painful for everyone and for all of us at the county council but making decisions like the ones we are making now must be done.
“People are always asking me why they can’t run services themselves without the county council being involved and, although it will be tough, there is now an opportunity for you to do this.”
He added that the blame for the cuts could only be directed at the last Government which had taken the country into massive debt.
But Jack Owen, a Sudbury resident and former county councillor, was roundly applauded when he said it was time for the council’s top earners to show leadership.
He said: “How can you stand there and lecture to us about making sacrifices, telling us to run services to save libraries and country parks, when Andrea Hill (chief executive) is earning such an outrageous salary. This is a woman who goes on TV and is conceited enough to justify what she gets paid when people are struggling and facing drastic cuts to public services. It is time the top earners at the county council set an example.”