A CAERPHILLY councillor has slammed a decision to advertise for a new interim chief executive of the authority at a salary £11,000 more than the incumbent is earning.
Plaid Cymru group leader Cllr Colin Mann said the pay increase is unjustifiable when Caerphilly County Borough Council is mooting cuts across a range of services.
At a council meeting on Tuesday it was announced that the authority’s current interim chief executive, Stuart Rosser, will stand down when his contract expires on July 23.
And the council agreed to advertise for a new interim chief executive on a 12-month contract with an option for a further year at a salary of £142,524.
Cllr Mann said: “Stuart Rosser, who has acted up as chief executive, was prepared to accept a salary equivalent to £131,000 a year and I fail to see why Labour is quite happy to up the pay of a new interim chief executive.
“I believe the salary at £131,000 a year, far higher than some council chief executives, is sufficient to attract good-quality candidates. What sort of message is this sending to the public who are facing further cuts in services? The answer seems to be that Labour will look after those at the very top.”
Mr Rosser did not accept the authority’s advertised salary of between £142,524 and £158,360 when he returned to the council last July and was paid £131,645 last year for three and a half days’ work per week. He had previously beens the council’s chief executive before retiring in 2010 and told councillors on Tuesday he was stepping down because of personal circumstances.
But the controlling Labour group said Plaid’s plans were “shambolic” and that because of pay plans agreed by the council in January, their proposal could see the council’s deputy earn more than its interim chief executive.
The council agreed that the deputy chief executive would earn between £119,250 and £132,500 a year, more than Mr Rosser has been paid.
And the deputy leader of the Labour group, Cllr Gerald Jones, said the plan was a “non-starter” and that at the council meeting a number of prominent Plaid members had abstained from supporting the proposal.