Written by ROB SMYTH
BURTON’S MP is spearheading a crusade to see council chief executives replaced by elected leaders.
Andrew Griffiths is calling on government officials to help put an end to an era of unelected council chief executives who, in some cases, earn more than the Prime Minister.
The Tory parliamentarian said the move would save the taxpayer money and give people a greater say in the course of democracy in the area in which they live.
He told the Mail: “I think the current system that is in place is not fair and needs to be overhauled.
“A significant number of council chief executives are earning six-figure salaries and several are raking in more than the Prime Minister is earning.
“By amalgamating the role of council chief executives and council leaders into a role that is elected by the public, it will make major savings to the council taxpayer and also will give people a greater say in the democratic process in their area.
“I hope that people within the government listen to what people want and bring about change that would make a massive difference.”
Mr Griffiths highlighted the work undertaken by Boris Johnson, in his role as mayor of London, as a prime example of someone who has combined both the chief executive and council leader role to have a ‘great impact’.
The latest figures showed that Staffordshire County Council chief executive Nick Bell earned £195,466 in 2011-12 and received £237,737 in remuneration from the county council that year.
Derbyshire County Council’s chief executive Nick Hodgson, who earned a salary of £151,056, received remuneration totalling £178,746 in 2011-12.
The combined ministerial and parliamentary salary of the Prime Minister is £142,500.
Mr Griffiths added: “A lot of people will see large salaries quoted for chief executives and be astonished.
“I think a revamp of the system that allows the public to have their say would be welcomed by everyone.
“At the moment many of the people in charge are completely unaccountable to all the people who pay their wages.”