Hutton report is welcomed

I welcome Will Hutton’s report into public sector salaries. It recognises the need to recruit and retain people of the right caliber to crucial jobs in local government that affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

These are not jobs that can be carried out by people without the relevant experience, expertise and aptitude. As the Leader of Staffordshire County Council I wouldn’t want to be responsible for making crucial decisions without the support and advice of senior officers with these attributes.

Hutton also noted that top salaries in the public sector are far lower than in the private sector, largely due to the vocational nature of the role.

I know that the yardstick for measuring public sector pay has become the salary paid to the Prime Minister, but this really is totally misleading. For a level playing field you should maybe compare the top salaries at a county like Staffordshire against district or metropolitan authorities.

The recommendations of performance related pay are also worthy of serious consideration.

I’m just off to Birmingham now for a meeting of West Midlands Councils. Cabinet tomorrow and the big debate on HS2 at Full Council on Thursday.

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