Real cost of Caerphilly council’s pay debacle revealed to be well over £6m

22/03/2019

The bill for the decision by Labour-run Caerphilly council to hike the pay of 21 senior officers in what has become a public scandal has now topped £6m.

Last December, the council said the cost of the senior officers’ pay and the investigation process will reach an estimated £4,176,000 by the end of this July. It could be even more if the investigation carries on until later in the year.

However, figures obtained by Plaid Cymru under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the cost of the actual pay increases to the officers – which sparked the scandal – has cost taxpayers another £2,178,813 up to the end of March 2019.

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the opposition Plaid Cymru group on Caerphilly council, said: “I know how people in the county borough were shocked and disgusted when costs of £4m plus were mentioned last December. But it is much worse than that.

“Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the unjustified and unnecessary pay rises for the 21 senior officers has so far cost almost £2.2m, so the real bill will be nearly £6,355,000 and rising at more than £370,000 a year. The cost is the equivalent to around £35 for each man, woman and child in the county borough.

“Residents of the county borough area are already facing a 6.95% rise in council tax and cuts in services like the closure of public toilets and Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre. Just imagine what this money could also have gone on: new schools, more teachers, resurfacing roads, additional enforcement officers to tackle dog mess, litter or more community safety wardens.

 “Instead, it has gone on salaries for top officers, lawyers and auditors’ charges. They’re the ones that have enjoyed a cash bonanza whilst our residents have suffered cuts in services.”

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION RESPONSE FROM CAERPHILLY COUNCIL:

The following table details the annual increase in the estimated salary costs of chief officers who received the agreed pay award increases in line with the revised chief officer pay structure implemented on the 1st August 2012.

 

Financial Year

Annual Budget Increase

2013-14

£357,461

2014-15

£357,461

2015-16

£361,644

2016-17

£364,114

2017-18

£366,575

2018-19

£371,558