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Redundancy (Local Government)

Volume 558: debated on Monday 4 February 2013

18. What his policy is on redundancy payments to senior local government officers; and if he will make a statement. (140766)

Excessive payouts to senior local authority staff have been too frequent. Thanks to the Localism Act 2011, local taxpayers can now see and challenge how their money is being spent on pay and reward, including redundancies. We are also scrapping regulations that saw councils pay out inflated severance packages to chief executives in order to avoid a lengthy and costly review process.

When the chief executive of Tory Kent county council left after 16 months with a £420,000 pay- off, the then local government Minister, now Tory party chairman, the right hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps), described this as “disturbing” and said:

“I find dipping into the public purse to make such an eye-watering pay-off unacceptable”.

Yet shortly thereafter the Minister’s colleague, the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, hired this individual as director general of civil service reform. Does he think that this sets a good example?