Town clerk's pay cut by more than 30%

COUNCIL chiefs have slashed the salary offered to their top officer by more than 30% as part of a bid to cut costs.

Laurence Cawley

COUNCIL chiefs have slashed the salary offered to their top officer by more than 30% as part of a bid to cut costs.

The move by Bury St Edmunds Town Council comes following the departure earlier this year of its former town clerk Linda Sherer, who was paid about £44,000 a year.

The council is now looking for a new town clerk who will work part time on a salary of between £28,172 and £30,598 pro-rata, meaning the successful candidate will end up being paid about £18 - £19,000 a year.

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The reduction in salary offered by the town council comes in the wake of the row over the package offered to Suffolk County Council chief executive Andrea Hill.

Her £218,000-a-year remuneration deal is £70,000 than its former chief executive Mike More, who was paid between £150,000 and £159,999 a year.

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Town council chairman Richard Rout said he hoped the move would prove popular with the public, who last May voted in 10 members of the Abolish Bury Town Council group, which claimed the council was a waste of money with too much taxpayer money going on wages.

“What we are hoping to do is reorganise the role and separate the financial officer part of the job from the town clerk role. It will mean there will be more responsibility for the assistant chief executive and will mean our new town clerk will work part time,” said Mr Rout, a Conservative.

“It was a recommendation made to us by the Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC),” he said. “We were all involved in setting the salary. We are making savings at the council and that is something we have done here too.

“The salary is pro-rata, which means the clerk will be paid about £18,000 and £19,000. I hope saving money is a popular move.”

The council's deadline for applications for the post is July 21 with interviews starting the following week. The council is looking for somebody with three years' management experience and who is familiar with all aspects of a local authority's functions.

The job is for three days a week.

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