Star date: 12th July 2012


`Scandalous', `disgusting', `disgraceful'… maybe the Mayor himself can think up one of his famous new words to describe the results of the `Independent Remuneration Panel' that decided the Mayor is to get a £69,000 salary, and his Deputy Mayor is to get a £44,850 salary, while Salford suffers in the worst recession for a generation.

Full story here…

The Salford Council trough is well and truly open for business as the `Independent Remuneration Panel' decided that, during the worst recession in a generation or two, Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart, is worth a £69,000 salary, while his Deputy City Mayor, David Lancaster, is worth a £44,850 salary.

That's more money than John Merry got when he was Leader of Salford City Council. Incidentally, Mr Merry insisted during the nomination ballot for Labour Mayor candidate that, if successful, he wouldn't take any increase on his Leader's salary. Ian Stewart, seemingly, has no such qualms.

In answer to the question of what salary he would take, if elected Mayor, Ian Stewart told the Salford Star back in April: "Whatever I am given. I want nothing to do with setting the wages or expenses if I am elected as City Mayor. I came through the Parliamentary Expenses debacle with a clean bill of health, but it left a scar. Therefore: I am on record as stating that a totally independent body would decide and impose the wages/expenses. I mean it!" (see here)

Meanwhile, David Lancaster, as Deputy Mayor with a salary of £44,850 gets an increase of £20,133 on the former Deputy Leader's salary of £24,717...almost double! 

These horrendous payments come on top of pay rises of over £3,500 to Assistant Mayors, now on £19,838 when previously they were paid £16,254 as Executive Support Members.

The pay rises, back dated to May and to be confirmed at a full Council meting next week, are sure to infuriate both Salford Council workers who have had no pay increase and members of the community who are facing huge cuts in services. This year alone Salford Council is making cuts of £24,000,000.

The Independent Remuneration Panel justified the whopping wage by stating "all of Salford City Council's executive functions are vested in the elected mayor, who can choose to exercise the functions himself or delegate specific executive functions as appropriate". In other words, he's almost doing the same job as Chief Executive Barbara Spicer, who picked up a package worth £211,607 in 2010/11.

The Independent Remuneration Panel was made up of Keith Barnes, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Salford; Jayne Bessant, Chief Executive, St Ann's Hospice; Maria McGeoghan, Director, Scott Partnership; Clive Memmot, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. The Salford Star will be looking into their salaries shortly.

Meanwhile, it's interesting to note that the Panel consulted with Salford's councillors during the review… backs and scratching does come to mind…

See previous Salford Star articles…

Salford's Fat Cats Just Got Fatter - click here
Salford Mayor Salary Stunner – click here
Mayor's Transparency Promise Up In Flames - click here

Winston Smith wrote
at 4:02:40 PM on Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Too right, Irwell, voting is just a little fig leaf for anti-democratic Parties to hide behind. Nowadays the only way anything gets done is corporate stuffing of money into Party pockets, by being a newspaper magnate or taking direct action. Salford Labour Party is also the best recruiting sargent the BNP could hope for, I doubt even BNP leadership is crass enough to be seen drooling over extortionate salaries while the rest of rot.
Irwell Running Through Me wrote
at 2:26:47 PM on Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Withold your votes folks. The only voice you have is to refuse to play. We are out of options, politically speaking. We are faced with a series of bad choices and a bad choice is no choice at all. Tory, Labour, BN-fucking-P, Lib Demics....no matter who we vote for we get shafted. A vote for one is like a vote for another. I say withhold your vote. The only way to shake these bastards up, short of armed revolution, is to refuse to take part in their corrupt little games.
Winston Smith wrote
at 1:47:44 PM on Monday, July 16, 2012
Unfortunately, Mr Felse, Salford has no Leader, so there is nobody to unite behind. Also, although Labour have enough power to do something positive for Salford, they have no incentive to do so because their mission is already accomplished, this being simply to maintain a Labour stronghold - quite easy to do while their only rivals, the Conservatives, are privatising the NHS, dismantling the armed forces and looking after their oily friends in the banks.
Who Else But Felse wrote
at 10:21:32 AM on Monday, July 16, 2012
What a pig's ear is being made of our Salford reputation at a time when investment in jobs, enterprise, housing and social services is more essential than ever. As the open gay loser in the Mayoral election I proudly plea for more unity in getting Salford upward and onward. With 30,000+ students a year at our University, over 200,000 Salford residents. a million tourists a year and 14,000 people on our housing waiting list it needs all campaigners to help. I ask Mayor Ian, his team and Chief Executive to make a difference that lets us praise their work and to bring cultural unity.
Winston Smith wrote
at 6:02:38 AM on Monday, July 16, 2012
@Just a Thought - What's the alternative? Well, I'm very glad you asked. It's not ideal, but the answer is Representative Democracy. The original idea of this was that, because all constituents can't fit in a room, they'd elect someone to appear on their behalf who would argue on their behalf, vote on their behalf, etc. What's happened is that the Parties (all of them) have usurped this process and put these 'Cuckoos'in place of real representatives. The Cuckoos work on their Party's behalf but still take the constituents' money as salary. You can spot a Cuckoo easily - 1) They belong to a Party 2) They say things like 'I want...' or 'My Party wants...' rather than 'My constituents want...'.
Just a Thought.... wrote
at 3:55:37 AM on Monday, July 16, 2012
Winston, read your comments about Labour...I'm inclined to agree with you given the number of years they've been in office - this is merely a change at the top - Mr Stewart for Mr Merry (Read somewhere he got the schools brief again - God help you if you are in a school on his radar!)...Thing is it doesn't matter who you vote for nowadays - there's a sliver of microfilm between all three parties. But what's the alternative? Ms Garrido and Mr Owen must be grinning from ear to ear as Mr Stewart and his cohorts put through Con-Dem Proposals on a Local Level...so long as the top income bracket dont pay too much council tax (Can't have that now can we?) so, we'll part-privatise the council services (Urban Vision and Citywide - Check) and we'll keep the Men from Peel Holdings Happy (Got to keep the quays looking bang tidy eh?) - Sell off the housing stock (Salix - Check) Oh and the 50% we spend on education? that'll soon be saved when Mr Gove's proposal goes through and all the schools go "private". We'll soon keep our chums happy...and when it comes to the next council election - the opposition will get a third on the council as salford wakes up (almost) but blames the wrong person for these daft proposals.
Winston Smith wrote
at 12:11:24 PM on Sunday, July 15, 2012
The more I look at this, the more it defies logic. Any other business that's on its knees would have to cut its coat according to its cloth - e.g. if all we've got in the bank is £25,000 then that's all we can afford to pay, regardless of what a panel of non-electorates say. If our £25,000 isn't good enough, f*** off and find someone stupid enough to pay £69,000. If you really are that talented, you won't be out of work for long. That's the way the real world works.
Winston Smith wrote
at 7:04:25 AM on Sunday, July 15, 2012
@Pamela, I think what's actually wrong here is that the Labour Party and friends sit there, cuckoo-like, while the public are forced to keep feeding them ALL big fat salaries. They have absolutely no incentive to hold back spending money *on themselves* whatsoever. Also, the decision to go to an 'independent' panel deserves NO credit, it's just a sop for the public. The people on these panels are from exactly the same stratum of life as the people they're recommending enormous salaries for, and it was a foregone conclusion that they would 'look after their own'.
B. Smart wrote
at 7:04:21 AM on Sunday, July 15, 2012
Spicer should be booted out as she is superfluous to requirements . Always was . Her obscene salary should be spent on services for our elderly citizens . With her qualities , employment as a circus clown will be readily available , and that goes for the entire mob of inept , useless wasters .
Pamela Welsh wrote
at 4:32:08 AM on Sunday, July 15, 2012
I'm going to play devil's advocate here, so please don't shout at me. I too believe that the amount of money paid out by Salford council is too high, so I'm not disagreeing with the principle of the story. But what if we're focusing on the wrong thing here? Firstly, to play devil's advocate again, I sort of think you have to give Ian Stewart some credit here. He said he was going to give the decision on salary to an independent panel - that's what he's done. We can't blame him for the amount of money they've suggested. Secondly, I completely agree with Steve North's comments in the MEN. What IS it that the mayor is supposed to do? And how much of that is overlap with the chief executive's role? What I've found on the city mayor's website is pretty terrible. "He has legal and strategic responsibility for the operational management of the council and the development of its policies and priorities." I've worked in the media and I've spent time trying to undo council speak, and I'm still not sure I understand that. In the same fashion, the role of Barbara Spicer says she is "the senior paid officer with responsibility for the corporate management of the city council." I think there's a clear overlap here, as far as I can understand the corporate jargon written on a public facing website (seriously, Salford council, learn to talk to real people). The question for me, and I realise this might be unpopular, is whether I think paying £275k in salaries to two people doing pretty much the same job is a good thing. I think it's a crime. It's disgusting. And although I have a bit of a turned stomach at a £65k salary, I'd rather pay that to a man accountable to the electorate (albeit on a small mandate) than to an unaccountable pen pusher in Salford council's chief execs' department. So while I think the easiest answer might be to clamour for Ian Stewart to take a pay cut, I'd be inclined to clamour for a full investigation into the overlap in job roles with the chief exec, and dock her salary. Just another way of looking at things!
mary ferrer wrote
at 12:26:43 AM on Sunday, July 15, 2012
In answer to the question asked by Just a thougt. Mr Mayor and the rest of his merry Deputy mayors can refuse this. On Wednesday next week at full council they get the chance to say "thanks,but NO thanks"So lets just sit back and see. Still can't see why we need Ms Spicer and a Mayor.
Just a Thought.... wrote
at 1:29:34 PM on Saturday, July 14, 2012
Salford Star, If i could be so bold as to point summat out to our Newly elected mayor...You put it to an Independent panel - v. good. But surely If you think in a recession this salary you're getting is a little bit aggressive on the public finances...you could always give yourself a pay cut!
Sack 'Em All wrote
at 1:29:13 PM on Saturday, July 14, 2012
What a bunch of C. Hunts . Mayor Open-Wallet , for OUR money - and his toe-rag Assistant Looters .
Tahira Chakotai wrote
at 12:28:08 AM on Saturday, July 14, 2012
Wow, how apt. Today it was announced, that the Salford Council can not afford to move disabled tenants from their flats, within a tower block, that is busy being refurnished. Even though this means leaving a OAP with cancer, confined to her flat, for three months, due to having no lift access. Also if this woman wants to leave her flat, and get alternative accomodation, she will have to pay for the move out, storage of her furniture, and then pay for the move back, which would cost a total of 1200 pounds. Mr. R. Wilson, who is one of the solicitors for Salford Council, has claimed there are insufficient funds to pay for such ventures, leaving disabled people like myself, and OAP's trapped in their flats, for three months with no way of leaving their homes, which the law states is false imprisonment. So how mad is it, that the Salford Council are investing, 10's of thousands on Mayor's, whom are as transparent, as a brick wall, and whom seem to care very little for the people, whom reside within Salford.
Polkie wrote
at 10:17:21 AM on Friday, July 13, 2012
This sickening mob of avaricious vermin need lynching .
Winston Smith wrote
at 4:01:17 AM on Friday, July 13, 2012
Add up the Mayor's salary, the money they recently gave away to criminals and the (true) cost of council smartphones and you could keep at least 10 actual workers employed at the council for a full year. There again, the council don't think like that, do they - 'selfservypoliticoscious' as the Mayor might say.
mary ferrer wrote
at 11:50:45 PM on Thursday, July 12, 2012
Not much we can do now, just sit back and wait and see if the Mayor and his assistant Mayor are worth the wages we are paying them. If not then we can get rid of them in,is it 4 years??? But all the people of Salford will do is vote in another high earner who will do sod all, Then we will moan again and it goes on and on. The money will have to come from somewhere,Childrens services, adult service,health and social care. They will do what they always do hit the most vunerable members of this city and now they can blame the goverment. But they have been doing it for years and years, and we have let them. I would like to say a big thank you to Steve and the Salford Star for bringing this to the attention of the residents of Salford, only sorry its not out there in every shop for All to see what is happening day in and day out in Salford and WE are allowing it to happen
Make them all mayors wrote
at 3:43:55 PM on Thursday, July 12, 2012
Maybe anybody employed by the council who is on more money than Ian Stewart or Lancaster, could be made a "mayor" and have their salary cut? Obviously I,d prefer them to just go forth without compensation but maybe this is a way round it. Sideways promotion.
Totts wrote
at 3:43:50 PM on Thursday, July 12, 2012
These avaricious town hall vermin need exterminating . They really are loathesome , vile parasites .
Jim Devine wrote
at 7:44:31 AM on Thursday, July 12, 2012
Quite simply,stomach turning. I don't like the word or feeling of hate but oh how I hate people like Stewart, Merry, Spicer. I suggest the Star organises a minutes silence (or screaming ) as a Mark of our disgust in the whole sorry lot.
Winston Smith wrote
at 7:44:26 AM on Thursday, July 12, 2012
Come on Salford Star, be fair - less than 3 months in office and already the Mayor's invented a new word and mentioned something about Twitter, thus single handedly doubling the output of council senior management. A true example of council aspiration.
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