Council under attack for "staggering" pay-offs

First published in News
Last updated

DORSET County Council has come under fire for ‘staggering’ pay-offs to staff leaving the authority.

The council’s own accounts show that in 2010-11 it shelled out a total of £1.03million on seven ‘exit packages’ with the total cost of the packages ranging from £100,000 to £242,000 – but they refuse to say who got the cash.

Tough times to come as council backs £11m cuts plan

The payments come at a time when the council is aiming to save around £39million over three years and shed 500 jobs as local Government face unprecedented cuts in funding.

However, the council insists reports that it had spent £1.03million on of 'pay-offs' to top executives was misleading.

A spokesman for the authority said the seven payments all related to staff who took voluntary redundancy in the 2011/12 financial year and were paid a total of £333,107, with individual payments ranging from £35,000 to £73,000.

He said a further £455,733 was paid by the council into the Pension Fund to cover the 'pensions strain' caused by the fact the individuals were all over 55-years-old.

Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance hit out at the pay offs.

He said: “The council has forked out a staggering sum of money on redundancy pay outs at a time when it has to find savings.

“Overly generous pay offs cost taxpayers dearly and run the danger of undermining any benefits of making staff redundant.

“In many cases, the terms and conditions provided to senior staff at councils such as Dorset are terrible value for taxpayers' money.

“Axing these gold plated deals must be a priority when replacing staff."

The council did not reveal which posts the payments related to. The spokesman said: “The total one-off cost was £818,840.

“The ongoing savings arising from these redundancies amounted to £471,000 a year.

“No additional cost falls on the taxpayer as Dorset's policy is only to allow voluntary redundancy where the 'pay-back' from the ensuing savings is less than two years.

“In this instance the average payback was 21 months.”

He added: “All councils are having to make substantial savings as a result of cuts in public spending.

“Dorset has made savings of £43 million in the last two years and shed more than 500 full time equivalent posts.

“Voluntary redundancy is just one of a number of tools available to councils to enable the necessary re-structuring of services.”

DORSET branch secretary for the GMB Union Gary Pattison said he believed the figures reflected an 'injustice' in the way redundancies were handled by the authority.

He said a number of senior managers took voluntary redundancy when the pay off they received used a redundancy multiplier of two-and-a-half times the national minimum.

The redundancy multiplier has now been reduced to 1.75 and that was the package that many lower paid staff were left with and some of them were compulsory redundancies.

Mr Pattison said: “We had senior managers who were well aware there was a risk of cutting the multiplier going ahead a taking voluntary redundancy while lower level staff when out with 1.75.“There is a sort of imbalance.”

Dorset branch secretary for Unison Pamela Jefferies said she will be seeking more details from the council on what the payments relate to and their long term impact.

She said: “It is a lot of money of money but if it's been done to save money as well.

“From a staff point of view it's probably better to see these high figure posts and keep more front line posts for people that work hands on delivering services.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:00am Thu 7 Feb 13

speedy231278 says...

Nothing like a golden handshake when you've only been six figures to fill a role that's all but made up.....
Nothing like a golden handshake when you've only been six figures to fill a role that's all but made up..... speedy231278
  • Score: 0

10:03am Thu 7 Feb 13

dorsetred says...

Is there no limit to these scandalous pay-offs to these people that re-emerge as consultants within weeks of retiring, are they all out of the planning office? May I take this opportunity to sincerely/ hope/wish/to all connected THE LUCK THEY DESERVE! EVERY DAY.
Is there no limit to these scandalous pay-offs to these people that re-emerge as consultants within weeks of retiring, are they all out of the planning office? May I take this opportunity to sincerely/ hope/wish/to all connected THE LUCK THEY DESERVE! EVERY DAY. dorsetred
  • Score: 0

10:45am Thu 7 Feb 13

crispy_pants says...

The one big issue with Local and National Government is that they are not businesses.
.
They do not have to earn their money.
.
They are given a department budget and come hell or high water they will spend every penny regardless. Towards the end of the financial year it gets spent on anything. And this is not made up; Pictures; Video camera that went missing within weeks; new furniture; plants.
.
And they will always be bailed out of financial trouble.
.
Oh dear our pension scheme is underfunded, where can we get the money?
The one big issue with Local and National Government is that they are not businesses. . They do not have to earn their money. . They are given a department budget and come hell or high water they will spend every penny regardless. Towards the end of the financial year it gets spent on anything. And this is not made up; Pictures; Video camera that went missing within weeks; new furniture; plants. . And they will always be bailed out of financial trouble. . Oh dear our pension scheme is underfunded, where can we get the money? crispy_pants
  • Score: 0

10:57am Thu 7 Feb 13

s-pb2 says...

This news will annoy the hell out of those on frontline services. One office I know of currently cannot buy any paper or pens because the budget was not enough, and they have to wait till April. Yet this office is expected to file reports for court which effect the most vulnerable members of society.
This news will annoy the hell out of those on frontline services. One office I know of currently cannot buy any paper or pens because the budget was not enough, and they have to wait till April. Yet this office is expected to file reports for court which effect the most vulnerable members of society. s-pb2
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Thu 7 Feb 13

muscliffman says...

We do not know who benefited from these pay offs - we should, end off.

As is suggested, this may well be because we will then discover some individuals have 'double dipped' and are back behind Council desks earning full salaries again.

But when you put the fat piggies on a farm in charge of their own troughs...........
We do not know who benefited from these pay offs - we should, end off. As is suggested, this may well be because we will then discover some individuals have 'double dipped' and are back behind Council desks earning full salaries again. But when you put the fat piggies on a farm in charge of their own troughs........... muscliffman
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Pablo23 says...

We pay their wages, we have a right to know who got paid what.
We pay their wages, we have a right to know who got paid what. Pablo23
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Thu 7 Feb 13

skydriver says...

Pablo23 wrote:
We pay their wages, we have a right to know who got paid what.
Quite right, who do these people think they are. In a commercial business they would have gone long ago without a penny.
Still the council will recoup the money very quickly with increase parking fees, council tax etc etc, so we Again will pay.
Can anyone tell me, can we have a vote of No Confidence in the local councils, if so let's get shot of them all and search for people who can do a good job properly with dipping their fingers in the till, and looking after themselves, with the local people cash.
[quote][p][bold]Pablo23[/bold] wrote: We pay their wages, we have a right to know who got paid what.[/p][/quote]Quite right, who do these people think they are. In a commercial business they would have gone long ago without a penny. Still the council will recoup the money very quickly with increase parking fees, council tax etc etc, so we Again will pay. Can anyone tell me, can we have a vote of No Confidence in the local councils, if so let's get shot of them all and search for people who can do a good job properly with dipping their fingers in the till, and looking after themselves, with the local people cash. skydriver
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

Although the figures seem high, it was contractual. Also, much cheaper than employing them until retirement, methinks......
Although the figures seem high, it was contractual. Also, much cheaper than employing them until retirement, methinks...... Letcommonsenseprevail
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Old Colonial says...

Letcommonsenseprevai
l
wrote:
Although the figures seem high, it was contractual. Also, much cheaper than employing them until retirement, methinks......
Bad contract! Too much thinking can be harmful to health.
[quote][p][bold]Letcommonsenseprevai l[/bold] wrote: Although the figures seem high, it was contractual. Also, much cheaper than employing them until retirement, methinks......[/p][/quote]Bad contract! Too much thinking can be harmful to health. Old Colonial
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree