Our beloved Tory council's General Purposes Committee met last night. Sounds dull, doesn't it?
But there are two points worth noting. Firstly it was the inaugural outing for the committee's new chairman, Councillor/Doctor Simon Moores. Some cynics might argue that his elevation was a palm-off for not rocking the boat over his leader and deputy leader's petition juggling antics which recently earnt them a ticking off from the Standards Committee. Not to mention his leader's propensity for calling the Mayor of Margate a 'fucking tosser'. No matter. Apparently the Doc done good, according to Labour councillor Mike Harrison, who attended last night's jamboree.
Now to the slightly less dull bit. The committee was in fairly secretive session, it seems, to discuss pay and salaries. Dr Moores has a full (-ish) account on his Thanet Life blog here. It's worth quoting some of it:
Following changes to the council’s senior staffing structure, a move to ensure the council continues to provide excellent value for money for its residents, the committee agreed to a number of changes to the basic salary scales of the Corporate Management Team and to the proposed new pay awards for all staff at the council. This saw an agreement to a pay award of 0% for the Corporate Management Team, 1.75% for senior staff and 2% for all other staff.
Hmmm. Sounds like the Corporate Management Team have done the decent thing and awarded themselves a pay freeze, eh? Not quite. What the good doctor has glossed over here is the part where 'the committee agreed to a number of changes to the basic salary scales of the Corporate Management Team'.
Perhaps he should have said 'after which they were awarded 0%'. Because my man with the Tesco bag full of frilly pink knickers informs me that, following the restructuring of the salary scales, many of the grand fromages are actually in line for a pay rise of around £25K. Of course, this has all been justified by the 'streamlining' of the senior team, 'fastest improving authority in the UK', blah blah blah. Still sounds like snouts in troughs to me, though. No wonder Thanet Council refused to answer the TaxPayers' Alliance's FOI request for their Town Hall Rich List 2009, which was published this week!