Council chief to keep huge salary

WIGAN Council says it has no plans to cut its chief executive’s pay despite facing swingeing budget cuts.

Metro boss Joyce Redfearn will keep her salary - which stood at £229,000 last year - as the council prepares to shed up to 820 jobs and make £55m savings over the next three years.

Ms Redfearn, who is now overseeing the borough’s primary health care trust as well as the council for no extra pay, is the second highest earner among Greater Manchester’s council bosses.

A council spokesman said: “The chief executive’s remuneration has already undergone a review this year.”

Chief executive pay will come under renewed fire this week as the Government cracks down on those earning more than the Prime Minister, by forcing councils to publish annual limits for management wage levels.

Figures obtained by the GMB union revealed that Ms Redfearn’s salary last year was £86,000 more than David Cameron.

The PM earns £143,000 after voluntarily cutting his own salary by £8,000.

Only one Greater Manchester council has plans in place to cut its chief executive’s pay.

Bury Council will slash its next chief exec’s pay packet by £13,000 when incumbent Mark Sanders stands down next year.

But no other council in the region currently intends to do the same.

In an unprecedented move, it was revealed last month that Joyce Redfearn has been appointed chief executive of Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust as well as working as the council’s boss.

The PCT is responsible for providing local health services, holds an NHS budget of £500m and its top job will be vacant once current incumbent Peter Rowe steps down in January.

Ms Redfearn has agreed to take the job to help manage the transition to GP Consortia Commissioning Health Services.

She will remain the council’s boss and on her current salary with no additional costs to either organisation.

More than 200 council staff have been granted voluntary redundancy in the first round of local government cuts.

However, the initial scheme was massively over subscribed, with 428 workers applying.

Council chiefs say 225 workers have been accepted for voluntary severance terms.

Of these, 37 have successfully applied to start a more gradual ‘wind-down’ through flexible retirement and reduced-hours programmes.