6th Dec, 2016

Senior Solihull council officers given 'eye-watering' redundancy payments

Solihull Editorial 17th Dec, 2015 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

TWO SENIOR Council officers have been given ‘eye-watering’ redundancy payments totaling more than half a million pounds.

Coun Howard Allen (Green/Shirley West) said the settlement was the ‘most obscene’ waste of taxpayer money he had seen in his 12 years on Solihull Council.

He added the exit payments ‘rushed through’ by the Conservatives were a ‘kick in the teeth’ for hard working frontline staff, many of whom did not even receive a living wage.

Coun Allen said that on May 23 the Government announced it intended to end six-figure exit payments to public sector workers, proposing a £95,000 cap on redundancy payoffs, which is likely to come into force at the beginning of 2016.

“The Government is rightly concerned about the number of exit payments made to public sector workers that exceed or come close to £100,000,” he added.

“Such payments can be four times average annual earnings or more, and are far in excess of the value of exit payments made to the majority of workers in the public sector and those in the wider economy.

“The Government does not believe such payments provide value for money or are fair to the taxpayers who fund them.”

Coun Robert Hulland, who is responsible for resources and delivering value for Solihull Council, said the Council had made significant cuts to its budget and faced more in the coming years.

He added that to protect frontline services the Council had been making savings by amalgamating back-office functions and reducing managerial posts and this had involved redundancies with the vast majority being below the government’s proposed cap.

Coun Hulland said the two long-serving senior managers in question recently received severance payouts above this cap and that one of them did not receive any redundancy payment, with the redundancy payment for the other manager being £23,000 below the cap.

He added that the cost of early access to their pensions took the total payout well over the cap, but that the Council would be making more than £250,000 savings a year from now on.