Council chiefs face pay-off crack down

By staff

An audit will be conducted into the pay-offs received by council chiefs when they depart their jobs.

Local government secretary John Denham is taking a tough line on the matter, after regular tales of bosses leaving due to personality clashes, receiving big pay-offs and then working at another council.

“It’s not acceptable for town hall chiefs and council leaders to agree expensive deals to part company just because they don’t get on or because they’d prefer to work with someone else,” Mr Denham said.

“If a chief executive, who has served his or her administration well, yet leaves for no justifiable reasons, it does not mean a council should spend large amounts of taxpayers’ money just to move them on to the next council so they can then find a more favoured face.

“In the current climate every taxpayer’s pound must be made to go further and councils must show they are providing value for money with services, with salaries and with tough decisions about their corporate executives.”

The Audit Commission will conduct the investigation, establish the basis of the pay-offs and suggest alternative procedures to prevent them from being regularly granted.