Well done to the Salford Star for this the Fat cats at Salford Council


Star date: 30th June 2010 


While everyone is being threatened with public sector cuts, draft accounts for Salford City Council show an increase in the number of staff earning above £50,000 a year during 2009-2010.

A total of 253 Council staff earned over £50,000, compared to 242 staff in 2008-9. Figures also show 19 people at the Council earned over £85,000 compared to 13 people last year, while top earner is Chief Executive Barbara Spicer, who pulled in £201,329 including pension contributions.

Full story here…


For the first time, Salford City Council has had to disclose full details of its high earners. In the past the Council has merely given numbers of employees earning within bands of `remuneration’ but due to new regulations we now know who earns what at the highest pay levels.

Top earner is Chief Executive, Barbara Spicer, who pulled in £201,329 including pension contributions. Her employer pension contributions of £25,214 alone is more than most people in Salford earn in a year.

Next highest earner was Alan Westwood, Strategic Director of Customer and Support Services, with a whopping £133,593 including pension contributions. One of his responsibilities is, er, `fiscal management’ and it’s to him that you address your council tax payments.

Next up is the Strategic Director of Community, Health and Social Care, otherwise known as Sue Lightup, wife of the current Mayor of Salford. She earned £133,803 including pension contributions. It was Sue who admitted subjective judgements in advising the community against the Salford Star’s funding application for £3,500. Got any spare change for the Star, Sue?

Meanwhile, Barbara Spicer’s Assistant Chief Exec, Kevin Brady, earned £125,592 including pension contributions. In the previous year the role was only worth £114,227 including pension contributions. That’s a pay hike of over £10,000. Hope he’s not responsible for selling the pay freeze to public sector workers…

Those having their houses pulled down, or living in the hell of a demolition zone, will be thrilled to learn that the Strategic Director of Regeneration, Paul Walker, pulled in £131,412 including pension contributions and a £5,855 `expense allowance’.

The mysterious `Director of Change’ was next in the fat cat earnings league with £96,919 including pension contributions. This is incredible because, firstly, we don’t know who he or she is, and secondly, there is no `Change’ directorate. Try searching for `Director of Change’ on the Council’s website or even Google and you get nowt. So what does this person change, apart from his or her own bank balance? Answers/guesses in our comments box please…

The enigmatic Director of Change earned more than the City Treasurer, John Spink, who earned a mere £95,204 including pension contributions.

Fourth in the high earners league table should have been Jill Baker, the Strategic Director of Children’s Services, with a salary of £115,761 but unfortunately the accounts show that she only earned £94,573 as she, er, left the Council under a cloud in December 2009. Well, if you pay mega peanuts you get…

The draft accounts also show that the former City Solicitor, Anthony Rich, earned £89,269 including pension contributions and £6,216 `compensation for loss of office’. He didn’t do as well as the former Managing Director of Urban Vision, the Council’s joint venture company, whose `annualised salary’ was £82,317 but left in October 2009 taking with him £131,172, including pension contributions and a £51,716 payment as `compensation for loss of office’.

Altogether, 19 Council employees earned over £85,000 in the year 2009-10, compared to 13 the year before. And those earning above £50,000 jumped from 242 in 2008-9 to 253 in 2009-10.

Meanwhile, the highest earning councillor in the year 2009-10 was John Merry, who pocketed £38,277 including a claim for £12 `travel and subsistence’.

Next highest earner with £26,735 was Councillor Roget Lightup, husband of third highest Council employee earner, Sue Lightup. Must have been some Christmas down at the Lightups…

In third place comes Councillor David Lancaster, who took £25,816, including £1,099 the highest claim for `travel and subsistence’.

Next up come seven councillors who pocketed £166,322 between them (an average of £23,760 each) – take a bow councillors Derek Antrobus, Peter Connor, Bill Hinds, Keith Mann, Joseph Murphy, John Warmisham and Barry Warner.

Altogether, councillors and `co-opted members’ claimed £911,000 in allowances during 2009-10 (click here to see them).

Stop Press: 1:30pm

One of our readers has just informed us that Martin Vickers is the amazing Director of Changeanyone know what he `changes’ for £96,919 a year?


Photo of Barbara Spicer by Albert Spiby

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Any Views

Yet more old style Toryism

Sounds a bit like something from Nick Griffin any veiws fron the Liberals i hear you say.

The dreary and repellent recycling of 20th-century Tory bigotry continued apace yesterday, with Home Secretary Theresa May adding her two penn’orth.

This time it’s immigrant labour from outside the EU who sit in the crosshairs of the Tory blunderbuss.

Ms May announced yesterday that an immediate 5 per cent reduction has been imposed on the numbers of skilled migrants coming to Britain from outside the EU.

In addition, firms could be forced to take out private health insurance for migrant workers in a bid to ease the “undue” pressure of immigrants on the NHS.

The government claimed that this was “an important part” of efforts to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands a year rather than the hundreds of thousands.

Which sounds as if it’s logical, if rather unsavoury. But it’s also racist, incompetent, untrue and unnecessary.

Racist because it only applies to immigrants from beyond the boundaries of the EU who, just by coincidence, happen for the most part not to be white, while those from inside the EU are generally white.

Incompetent because it won’t do a damn thing to reduce pressure on the NHS, since those covered by private health insurance generally use many of the same doctors and facilities as NHS patients, although under a different financial regime in which the NHS gets less of the cash.

Untrue because skilled workers are recruited where they are needed and are in a different category to unskilled workers. Skilled workers allowed in last year amounted to a less than significant 5,400 and a 5 per cent cut would affect around 270 people out of a grand total of around 160,000 net inward migrants in the year to September 2009.

And unnecessary because, as a natural side-effect of Britain’s financial crisis, inward migration is tailing off anyway.

Logically, inward migration will always tail off when a country is unable to offer decent jobs and prospects and grow when its economy is booming. It’s a natural effect and an appropriate one. This Tory rubbish is a poorly thought out plan based in prejudice rather than sensible policy. And it will do more harm than good.

As English Community Care Association chief executive Martin Green pointed out, schemes to train British workers to fill vacancies in social care, one of the sectors that would be most affected, are being scrapped at the same time.

“On both ends of the issue, the government is making decisions that are probably not very helpful,” he warned. “It will mean that people are recruited that are probably not of the appropriate skills set.”

But the policy is all of a piece with the general thrust of the Con-Dem coalition’s approach.

It targets people rather than aiming to change a system which is not producing enough jobs, it pins all its hopes on a private sector which has demonstrably failed in the past and has little hope of doing anything different in the future.

In the process, it also hands over a nice little slice of the public sector to the privateers to exploit for profit and, as a final seal of its fitness as a coalition policy, it flies in the face of everything the Lib Dems said in their pre-election campaigning.

In all senses, it’s a typical coalition policy. But what’s also typical is that it panders to populist prejudice rather than addressing real concerns and will do nothing except add to the problems of the economy.

Even small businesses understand this and have been almost unanimous in their disapproval of having been lumbered with private medical insurance bills and further difficulties in recruiting suitable staff.

But that matters little to this dogmatic and ideologically driven coalition. It wins a few right-wing cheers and bolsters a few prejudices and that’s enough.

But it has angered health service union Unison and infuriated equality campaigners.

One wonders if the whole point is to placate the shirearchy at any cost or whether it’s just new Tories throwing off the camouflage and donning their traditional bigotry. On balance, it’s probably a bit of both.

Thanks for your Honesty Mr C

I have spent less than 5 minutes on your blog/web site and plan never to visit again! The post ‘Thinking of Voting Tory or Liberal Democrat?’ is hilarious at best. I’m not political but I’m a common sense taxpayer, have 1.5 million jobs been lost since the new government came into power? What criminals have been let out early?  Would any other party not cut the police budget?
  • If you had read todays papers you would know over the leaked memo relative to the Job losses.
  • You would have read the comments from the Tory minister relative to sentencing and early release, the main concerns in my opinion were the cost of keeping these people inside.
  • As for you comment over policing i am really sorry i have to disagree with you. We have so much crime that goes unreported . Estates accross the country are rife with criminals and i for one think we need more police, of course that’s my opinion. But i respect your view and if you wish to discuss it in depth you are welcome
  • regards.

Someone sent me this the other day.

Nick_Clegg_responds_to_Gordon_Brown What do they say about he who laughs last. My prediction is before long the way things are going the shoe will be on the other foot.New Labour must be having a great time. Within a year i can see this partnership ending as quickly as it began if the Liberal Democrats wish to retain any credibility.Gordon may have had no charisma but if the choice was between him or the Lib/cons i no where my vote would go.