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BBC Wales's Nick Palit
"It will make Russell Goodway one of the highest paid councillors in Britain"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Alistair McGhie
"The recommendations that should appear by Friday may not be debated"
 real 28k

Neil White Unison branch official
"What we have seen in Cardiff is the abilty to lose money hand over fist"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 15 December, 1999, 16:12 GMT
Cardiff councillors set for big pay day

County Hall Councillors in Cardiff could become the best paid in the country

BBC Wales has learned that top Cardiff councillors are in line for big pay increases - which could make them the highest paid in Britain.

The chairman of a pay review body says it is because councillors now have increased responsibility.

The public service union Unison claims pay could double to over 50,000 in some cases.

Last year, Cardiff County Council leader Russell Goodway picked up just over 28,000 in allowances.

Coun Goodway said that any savings from re-structuring would be passed on to front line services.
Neil White Unison official

On top of that the basic salary for councillors is currently 5,600.

Mr Goodway was reported to be among the highest paid council leaders in the UK last year.

Tony Travers from the London School of Economics said he understood the leader of Leeds City Council was currently the highest paid, receiving a sum in excess of 30,000.

Russell Goodway Russell Goodway could receive more than 50,000 claims Unison

In May Cardiff Council was restructured to include a cabinet system - with that came an independent body to look at the pay issue.

But Unison official Neil White said the idea of paying high salaries to councillors at a time of job losses was wrong.

'Front line'

"Coun Goodway said that any savings from re-structuring would be passed on to front line services.

"We have no objection to anybody being paid well for good work, but we have yet to see any evidence of that.

"What we have seen in recent years is Cardiff's ability to lose money hand over fist on behalf of the public."

Mr White said members were angered by the disclosure that the new pay proposals were not due to be discussed by the full council but would be adopted without debate.

The pay review chairman, Ewart Parkinson, said big pay increases would be given to those councillors with bigger reponsibilities.

Former opposition leader of Cardiff Council Jenny Randerson said Coun Goodway was only a part-time councillor and should not be paid upwards of 50,000.

"I think the problem in Cardiff Council is the cabinet system and we are being encourage that Cardiff Council is a business, a big business, but it is not, it is a council," she said.

'Rock bottom'

"Remember the employees recently that have been made redundant," Ms Randerson said.

"Morale is rock bottom and what sort of message is this going to send out to people?"

But Jeff Jones, leader of Bridgend Council, said good salaries had to be paid to attract fresh blood into councils.

"Local government is dominated by men over 50 and predominantly white," he said.

"There is a problem of people drifting off to the Assembly and Westminster to become full-time politicians.

"We want a scheme to keep the best and brightest in local government."

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See also:
19 Oct 99 |  Wales
One-day protest over council shake-up
05 Jul 99 |  Education
Union threatens walkout over director cuts

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