Lambeth council decides not to ‘vet’ stratospheric salaries for officers

by More Street Cleaning and less Social Cleansing, please

Lambeth attracts DCLG fury for defying senior pay rules

23 May, 2013 | By Kaye Wiggins

Lambeth LBC has defied Eric Pickles’ rule that salaries and payouts over £100,000 should be vetted by councillors from all parties.

When Mr Pickles announced the move, he said it would make local authority pay “democracy-proof”.

But councillors at the Labour-run London borough have said it would bring “significant delay to the recruitment process” if full council had to approve the highest pay packets.

They have also said there would be a “delay in implementing redundancies in a timely fashion” if severance packages worth more than £100,000 had to be discussed at full council meetings.

Under guidance from the Department of Communities & Local Government, published in February, full council should be given the opportunity to vote before salaries or severance packages worth more than £100,000 are approved.

But Lambeth council papers say: “In light of the… limited discretion available to the council when setting senior pay it is recommended that [current] arrangements are sufficient so as to comply with the intention of [DCLG guidance] and should therefore continue unchanged.”

The paper was approved at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

Lambeth has 16 posts with salaries of more than £100,000.

UPDATE: Local government minister Brandon Lewis said in a statement: “The taxpayers of Lambeth should take note that the ruling councillors have failed to get a grip on the town hall rich list. The council should be held to account for giving the green light to greater secrecy and uncontrolled pay packets for top bosses.”