Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Savings Seem to Cost a Lot; Your Say

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Savings Seem to Cost a Lot; Your Say

Article excerpt

AT the council meeting on Wednesday, February 23, an Independent councillor asked mayor Ray Mallon questions regarding the number of officers employed by the council who are paid in excess of pounds 100,000.

When answering, the mayor also released additional information regarding his chief executive officer Ian Parker stating that when Mr Parker was appointed he declined the salary offered and stated he would accept a salary reduced by pounds 10,000.

A big gold star and a pat on the back to Ian Parker it would appear on the face of it, but the mayor did not mention two important facts: That a new job at the council was created, assistant chief executive, to assist Mr Parker in his duties -this job coming with a hefty salary at over pounds 70,000.

So did the council actually save pounds 10,000 by Mr Parker's gesture or did they spend an extra pounds 60,000 on an assistant chief executive, a post Middlesbrough had not previously felt the need for? The mayor also did not mention the fact that the chief executive officer has just accepted a pay increase of 5.4% -an increase of pounds 7,344, well above the rate of inflation.

NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD BY AGREEMENT THE recent decision to give a 5.4% pay rise to Ian Parker beggars belief.

While all staff were of the understanding that their pay would be frozen, we see that right at the very top this ruling does not apply. Not only should this pay increase be cancelled, but the chief executive should reduce his salary.

Middlesbrough Council is currently challenging the Government over the excessive cuts that have been imposed on this authority, but surely our position is weakened by such a crass and insensitive pay increase such as this.

PETER COX, BRIAN HUBBARD, KEN WALKER, Independent councillors, Middlesbrough AT the council meeting on February 23 we were astonished by the outrageous statement by Cllr Elder who said "Middlesbrough is a one horse town."

We would encourage the councillor to consider a few facts concerning the vibrant and dynamic history of Middlesbrough which was in the distant past described by Mr Gladstone as being an Infant Hercules and at the forefront of the British and global industrial revolution.

We have many things to be proud of like the James Cook University Hospital, recognised as being one of the best in the country; Teesside University, considered by the Times Education system to be the university of the year; the brilliant Middlesbrough College; Albert and Stewart Park, both outstanding facilities for the public to enjoy; plus outstanding retail outlets in the town centre.

We have the Civic Square, a perfect canvas to show off the Town Hall, a Neo-Gothic triumph; and mima art gallery. We could not have a better example of the success of our town over the last 100 years or so -the Town Hall, old and dignified, and the mima art gallery, young and vital straining at the leash to take Middlesbrough into the future. …

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