Ministers criticised over civil service bonuses

Why target council chiefs when civil servants receive windfalls, critics ask

Ministers have been accused of double standards after approving bonuses to thousands of senior civil servants in their own departments, despite announcing new rules designed to crack down on the generous pay deals for council executives.

John Healey, the Local Government minister, said that he wanted to cut the pay and bonuses given to local authority bosses by forcing them to publish details of their pay deals. The Government also declared victory after bonuses to executives at the failed bank RBS were reduced.

But Richard Bacon, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, said yesterday that the Government was in "no position to preach" to councils over pay and bonuses as senior civil servants in its own departments will be sharing a payout of £26m this year.

Sir Gus O'Donnell, the head of the Civil Service, revealed last week that departmental permanent secretaries were waiving their bonuses in an attempt to send "a signal to the public that we understand their concerns in these difficult times". But the agreement to forgo annual bonuses only covers around a dozen mandarins, leaving some 4,000 senior civil servants in line for a payout in September. Last year, senior civil servants received a total of £24.7m in bonuses – an average of £6,175 each.

Mr Bacon, Conservative member for South Norfolk, said: "The Government is manifestly not capable of running their own big departments. The NAO recently released a report on the ability of departments to deliver. Two-thirds of Government departments were found to be less than well placed to deliver their targets. If that is the case, why should most civil servants receive bonuses if most departments are not performing properly?"

Last night, David Clark, the head of the council chief executive group Solace, said that the Government's pledge to crack down on local authority pay was a "political gimmick".

A spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office said the bonus deals for senior civil servants were transparent and related to performance. But Mr Bacon said: "There is an institutional bias in setting the targets in such a way that they will be met."

Tidy salaries: Council chiefs

*Joe Duckworth £240,000

Newham Council

Britain's best-paid local government official came from a £150,000 post as chief executive of Isle of Wight Council, where his swearing agitated staff until he agreed to tone it down. He tried to convert the island into an eco-Isle. He will play a central role in delivering the 2012 Olympic Games.

*Derek Myers £220,000 – £230,000

Kensington and Chelsea Council

Once reported to live in a £900,000 house in Chiswick, west London. He is chairman of the council chief executives' society and a non-executive director at the Department of Health.

*Andrea Hill £218,592

Suffolk County Council

Earns £70,000 more than her predecessor and is responsible for a £1bn budget. Recruited from Bedfordshire County Council, where she raised the council's star rating from two to three.

*Kim Ryley £213,162

Kingston-upon-Hull Council

Hull was the worst local authority in Britain when Mr Ryley inherited it in 2004. Has won plaudits for improvement in council services.

*Caroline Tapster £203,427

Hertfordshire County Council

Began working at the council in 1995. Its star rating has declined since she became chief executive in 2003. The Audit Commission says the council's performance management is inconsistent.

*George Garlick £200,000

Durham Council

The best paid council chief executive in the North-east. Veredus, a recruitment firm, was paid to manage his appointment. He moved from Stockton-on-Tees Council to take up the position as head of Durham's new unitary authority late last year.

*John Foster £200,000

Islington Council

Last year his council denied it paid Arsenal football club £8,100 to use a room for a staff event.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture