Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 12:10 UK

Council pay out of hand - Denham

Communities Secretary John Denham
Mr Denham launched a stinging attack on Conservative-run councils

Communities Secretary John Denham has said he will limit the pay and pensions of council chief executives.

He told the Labour conference that senior staff pay had got "out of hand" and in future councils would have to publish details of remuneration.

Mr Denham also said he opposed Tory and Lib Dem plans to freeze pensions for lower paid staff and announced an additional £500m in equal pay awards.

He added that a Labour election win would depend on "strong leadership".

'Cameron's councils'

Mr Denham said the average pay of local government workers had risen by £6,000 in seven years, but for chief executives it had increased by £40,000.

"Don't get me wrong. These are not bad people. Most have given their own lifetime of public service.

"But we all know, it's all got out of hand and it's just got to stop."

Mr Denham also used his conference speech to launch a stinging attack on Conservative-run councils, saying they were "in a rush to cut services and make people pay twice".

"Look at Cameron's councils to see what a Cameron government would be like," he said.

"I'm getting so sick and tired of Cameron's councils who take Labour investment, claim the credit for new homes, new schools, new play areas - they sometimes even have the cheek to say it's not enough - and all the time they are working for a Tory government that would take it all away."

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