New Rotherham Council managers in line for 25 per cent pay rises due to ‘negative publicity’

Riverside House, headquarters of Rotherham Council. Pic: Asadour Guzelian
Riverside House, headquarters of Rotherham Council. Pic: Asadour Guzelian
  • Pay rise plans backed for senior managers due to ‘negative publicity’ from grooming scandal
  • It means new chief executive could get £200,000 per year and top officers over £140,000
  • The move comes despite £23m cuts at scandal-hit council

Rotherham Council’s new chief executive could be paid an extra £40,000 per year as a result of ‘negative publicity’ from the grooming scandal.

The council’s staffing committee has approved plans to potentially increase the salary for the position from its current £160,000 per year by up to 25 per cent to £200,000.

New senior managers could also receive almost £30,000 extra each on top of their existing salary level of £113,384.

It would take their salaries over £140,000 per year.

The council is making £23m cuts this year.

But in a report to the committee, Phil Howe, director of human resources, said the additional pay - known as a market supplement - may be needed to attract suitable candidates because of the ‘recent negative publicity surrounding the council’ due to the grooming scandal.

His report said that following the departure of a number of senior managers, permanent replacements will soon be recruited.

Councillor Caven Vines, leader of the UKIP group, said he was uncomfortable with the idea of the additional financial incentives.

“If you are advertising a job at whatever figure, anybody applying knows that is the salary,” he said.

But Stella Manzie, managing director commissioner for the council, said the option to increase salaries for senior managers would be used to attract higher-quality candidates to work in Rotherham.

“It tends to be when you have gone out to advertise once and end up with a very poor field and then you have to check what salary level has been offered at for the post,” she said.

“It is only then you would go for a market supplement.”

Coun Vines said: “If they are coming up from down south and want to come to Rotherham they are going to have to take a pay cut.”

He added: “I’m quite happy with the salary levels for the positions advertised. You are not going to get anybody worth their salt for any less. I just don’t like the idea of offering market supplements.”

He suggested if the extra pay has to be given, it should be ‘performance-related’, with the extra money only paid out when set objectives are achieved.

But Mr Howe said a bonus system is not in operation at Rotherham Council or other local authorities. The decision follows the running of the council being taken over by Government-appointed commissioners in February after a report by civil servant Louise Casey found it was not fit for purpose.

Ms Casey said the council was still ‘in denial’ about the extent of child sexual exploitation in the town, after it was revealed more than 1,400 children were abused over 16 years.