Residents hit but chief gets pay rise

Garry Payne chief executive of Wyre Council
Garry Payne chief executive of Wyre Council
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Wyre’s chief executive is set for a pay increase which will see him earning up to a six figure sum.

Garry Payne will see his remuneration package increase to between £95,000 and £100,000, up from between £87,567 and £92,718.

But the council says the move is part of a shake up of senior management which will create annual savings of £159,000. Changes have seen the number of heads of services reduced from 12 to nine, with Mr Payne taking on additional responsibilities as part of his role.

A council spokesperson said: “A new senior management structure is due to come into effect at Wyre.

“With the departure of our two corporate directors the chief executive will take over direct responsibility for planning and financial services along with three new senior directors in addition to his normal duties, resulting in an increase in grade.

“This new structure will save the council £159,000 per year.”

The chief executive’s pay rise comes as the council is increasing its share of council tax by 1.75 per cent next month after five years of freezes.

Its government funding for the next financial year has been cut by £871,000 or 16 per cent compared to last year.

Pressure on spending also means free green garden waste collections are being axed, with residents to be charged £30 a year for them in future.

However Coun Ruth Duffy, leader of the opposition Labour group on Wyre Council, said: “It is a lot of money the chief executive does get, but I have looked at the figures myself and this is on a par with other local authorities.

“The changes have brought the wage bill down and I am pleased with that.

“The upper tier of management does hold a lot of responsibility and in times coming they are going to have an even tougher job.”

Blackpool Council now has three executives, including the chief executive, the director of public health and the director of people on remuneration packages worth more than £100,000.

But a restructure of senior executives has saved £33,000 overall because other chief officer roles have been scrapped. Since that decision, deputy chief executive Carmel McKeogh has also taken voluntary redundancy.