Pay row as new Lancashire County Council chief appointed

Lancashire Telegraph: NEW ROLE: Phil Halsall NEW ROLE: Phil Halsall

A SENIOR county council boss has been promoted to the role of chief executive - with a £65,000 pay rise.

Phil Halsall’s £195,000 wage is the same level as outgoing boss Ged Fitzgerald, who is moving to Liverpool City Council.

The appointment, which was not advertised, has drawn criticism from a Government minister, while unions branded the salary ‘sickening’ amid warnings of widespread job losses.

Howevever, bosses said they were saving a total of £148,000 a year - when wage and other costs were taken into account - by abolishing Mr Halsall’s current job title, executive director of resources.

Finance director Gill Kilpatrick is being given a pay rise of £15,000 - up to around £90,000 - because she is taking on extra responsibilities as part of the shake-up.

County Hall is currently trying to find savings of £180million as it faces losing up to a quarter of its total budget.

Thousands of jobs are said to be at risk.

Mr Halsall, 52, who was previously in charge of resources at Liverpool City Council, has been at Lancashire County Council since 2009.

He said he was ‘pleased and honoured’ at his new job, where he will be in charge of 42,000 staff.

The coalition Government has pledged to cut down on high salaries in local government.

Conservative local government minister Bob Neill urged members to 'think carefully' about the decision at the next full council meeting.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “A bumper £65,000 pay rise will strike the vast majority of people in Lancashire as excessive particularly at a time when councils should be concentrating on reducing costs.”

In 2008 the council spent £80,000 with recruitment firms before taking on Mr Fitzgerald.

Conservative council leader Geoff Driver said he could not ‘justify the time or expense’ of advertising the post externally because Mr Halsall was the ‘strongest possible successor’.

Yesterday his appointment was backed by the leaders of the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrat groups.

But Sandra Blight, a regional officer for the GMB union, said: “It’s sickening news when we’ve got so many people potentially losing their jobs.”

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:03am Thu 18 Nov 10

BuckoTheMoose says...

That wage is more than double my mortgage.
I don't care what he does, how good at it he is or how many people he is responsible for.
There is NO excuse for a wage that high at the taxpayers expense. None at all.
That wage is more than double my mortgage. I don't care what he does, how good at it he is or how many people he is responsible for. There is NO excuse for a wage that high at the taxpayers expense. None at all. BuckoTheMoose

12:18pm Thu 18 Nov 10

Dai Darwen says...

If they can abolish his job title now, just what was he doing before to earn the money ????????


Finance director to get an extra £15000 for extra responsibilities. That is equivalent to 20% more work. Is this person going to work 20% harder, 20% longer or has their working day just been made equivalent to a full time job. Obviously time to spare previously, 1.125 hours per day.
If they can abolish his job title now, just what was he doing before to earn the money ???????? Finance director to get an extra £15000 for extra responsibilities. That is equivalent to 20% more work. Is this person going to work 20% harder, 20% longer or has their working day just been made equivalent to a full time job. Obviously time to spare previously, 1.125 hours per day. Dai Darwen

12:29pm Thu 18 Nov 10

time.team says...

“Yesterday his appointment was backed by the leaders of the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrat groups.
-
The coalition Government has pledged to cut down on high salaries in local government. Conservative local government minister Bob Neill urged members to 'think carefully' about the decision at the next full council meeting. He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “A bumper £65,000 pay rise will strike the vast majority of people in Lancashire as excessive particularly at a time when councils should be concentrating on reducing costs.
-
In 2008 the council spent £80,000 with recruitment firms before taking on Mr Fitzgerald.”
-
Power to the people!
-
PS - My pass code is 'sell-vote'.
Perfect!
“Yesterday his appointment was backed by the leaders of the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrat groups. - The coalition Government has pledged to cut down on high salaries in local government. Conservative local government minister Bob Neill urged members to 'think carefully' about the decision at the next full council meeting. He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “A bumper £65,000 pay rise will strike the vast majority of people in Lancashire as excessive particularly at a time when councils should be concentrating on reducing costs. - In 2008 the council spent £80,000 with recruitment firms before taking on Mr Fitzgerald.” - Power to the people! - PS - My pass code is 'sell-vote'. Perfect! time.team

1:17pm Thu 18 Nov 10

safetyman says...

Unbelievable
When is this government going to cap these salaries. Local authorities are cutting jobs, but not where they can save millions - managers.
You cannot compare this guys role with the provate sector, as in the private sector if you are no good, you get sacked; in local government you have a job for life eveh if you are useless.
Unbelievable When is this government going to cap these salaries. Local authorities are cutting jobs, but not where they can save millions - managers. You cannot compare this guys role with the provate sector, as in the private sector if you are no good, you get sacked; in local government you have a job for life eveh if you are useless. safetyman

1:31pm Thu 18 Nov 10

RTressell says...

Whilst I agree with the objections voiced in relation to the proposed salary attached to this post, the item that shocked me was the fact that Lancashire employs 42,000 people. It's difficult to believe that so many people are required to perform the work that actually exists. 25% savings - in relation to the labour component of costs - seems relatively modest in my experience.
Whilst I agree with the objections voiced in relation to the proposed salary attached to this post, the item that shocked me was the fact that Lancashire employs 42,000 people. It's difficult to believe that so many people are required to perform the work that actually exists. 25% savings - in relation to the labour component of costs - seems relatively modest in my experience. RTressell

6:07pm Thu 18 Nov 10

ste.g says...

BuckoTheMoose wrote:
That wage is more than double my mortgage.
I don't care what he does, how good at it he is or how many people he is responsible for.
There is NO excuse for a wage that high at the taxpayers expense. None at all.
i agree no excuse what so ever
[quote][p][bold]BuckoTheMoose[/bold] wrote: That wage is more than double my mortgage. I don't care what he does, how good at it he is or how many people he is responsible for. There is NO excuse for a wage that high at the taxpayers expense. None at all.[/p][/quote]i agree no excuse what so ever ste.g

11:45pm Thu 18 Nov 10

Totally says...

18,000 LCC staff work in schools so a further 24,000 across social care, highways, libraries, adult education, museums, registrars, environment, trading standards, HWRCs, Welfare Rights, Student Services, Youth Offending Team, Coroners - I don't think its surprising at all.
I can understand the disapproval of such a huge salary increase for the new Chief Exec, but I think most people would expect someone to get a significant rise for taking on their former boss's job and with it a huge amount of responsibility at a particularly difficult time.
I am not defending the amount of the rise but just the fact that he should get one.
Equally the Finance Director will be taking on additional responsibility and its naive to think that jobs at this level are paid for the amount of work they do - they are paid for the level of responsibility and that is the same in the private sector. CEOs of big organisations do not get paid based on how many hours they put in!!

People might have reacted slightly differently if the focus of this story had been on the £148,000 saved by this appointment. Yes it could have been a bigger saving but if they hadn't been able to appoint internally it would have been a huge cost.
18,000 LCC staff work in schools so a further 24,000 across social care, highways, libraries, adult education, museums, registrars, environment, trading standards, HWRCs, Welfare Rights, Student Services, Youth Offending Team, Coroners - I don't think its surprising at all. I can understand the disapproval of such a huge salary increase for the new Chief Exec, but I think most people would expect someone to get a significant rise for taking on their former boss's job and with it a huge amount of responsibility at a particularly difficult time. I am not defending the amount of the rise but just the fact that he should get one. Equally the Finance Director will be taking on additional responsibility and its naive to think that jobs at this level are paid for the amount of work they do - they are paid for the level of responsibility and that is the same in the private sector. CEOs of big organisations do not get paid based on how many hours they put in!! People might have reacted slightly differently if the focus of this story had been on the £148,000 saved by this appointment. Yes it could have been a bigger saving but if they hadn't been able to appoint internally it would have been a huge cost. Totally

8:34am Fri 19 Nov 10

BuckoTheMoose says...

Totally wrote:
18,000 LCC staff work in schools so a further 24,000 across social care, highways, libraries, adult education, museums, registrars, environment, trading standards, HWRCs, Welfare Rights, Student Services, Youth Offending Team, Coroners - I don't think its surprising at all. I can understand the disapproval of such a huge salary increase for the new Chief Exec, but I think most people would expect someone to get a significant rise for taking on their former boss's job and with it a huge amount of responsibility at a particularly difficult time. I am not defending the amount of the rise but just the fact that he should get one. Equally the Finance Director will be taking on additional responsibility and its naive to think that jobs at this level are paid for the amount of work they do - they are paid for the level of responsibility and that is the same in the private sector. CEOs of big organisations do not get paid based on how many hours they put in!! People might have reacted slightly differently if the focus of this story had been on the £148,000 saved by this appointment. Yes it could have been a bigger saving but if they hadn't been able to appoint internally it would have been a huge cost.
Lets not allow the fact that they have made a tiny saving of 148k, detract from the fact that they are paying someone 195k of taxpayers money every year.

This man would not earn the same in the private sector.
[quote][p][bold]Totally[/bold] wrote: 18,000 LCC staff work in schools so a further 24,000 across social care, highways, libraries, adult education, museums, registrars, environment, trading standards, HWRCs, Welfare Rights, Student Services, Youth Offending Team, Coroners - I don't think its surprising at all. I can understand the disapproval of such a huge salary increase for the new Chief Exec, but I think most people would expect someone to get a significant rise for taking on their former boss's job and with it a huge amount of responsibility at a particularly difficult time. I am not defending the amount of the rise but just the fact that he should get one. Equally the Finance Director will be taking on additional responsibility and its naive to think that jobs at this level are paid for the amount of work they do - they are paid for the level of responsibility and that is the same in the private sector. CEOs of big organisations do not get paid based on how many hours they put in!! People might have reacted slightly differently if the focus of this story had been on the £148,000 saved by this appointment. Yes it could have been a bigger saving but if they hadn't been able to appoint internally it would have been a huge cost.[/p][/quote]Lets not allow the fact that they have made a tiny saving of 148k, detract from the fact that they are paying someone 195k of taxpayers money every year. This man would not earn the same in the private sector. BuckoTheMoose

10:17am Fri 19 Nov 10

Totally says...

He would earn that in the private sector. If you look at the definitive list of chief executive salaries you will find that private sector companies with a turnover level to that of LCC CEO salaries range from £200 - £300k.

As I said earlier I am not defending the amount being paid but why should Phil Halsall earn less than Ged Fitzgerald did. The job has only got tougher.
He would earn that in the private sector. If you look at the definitive list of chief executive salaries you will find that private sector companies with a turnover level to that of LCC CEO salaries range from £200 - £300k. As I said earlier I am not defending the amount being paid but why should Phil Halsall earn less than Ged Fitzgerald did. The job has only got tougher. Totally

11:37am Fri 19 Nov 10

wrinkles says...

Lancashire County Council is an overstuffed organisation that demands and fritters away more and more disposable income of us ordinary mortals. Departments such as their road planning have too much power and don't feel the consequences when they kill off our town centres

BTW when was the legal requirement abolished that stipulated all job vacancies have to be publicly advertised?
Lancashire County Council is an overstuffed organisation that demands and fritters away more and more disposable income of us ordinary mortals. Departments such as their road planning have too much power and don't feel the consequences when they kill off our town centres BTW when was the legal requirement abolished that stipulated all job vacancies have to be publicly advertised? wrinkles

3:32pm Fri 19 Nov 10

notchuffed says...

Considering all the lay offs of those people who actually do the work instead of "Administration" (how many does it take in the background in ration to people at the front??) I'd have thought he would simply have been relieved just to be kept in a job without such a big carrot. Surely these "Ivory Tower" employees are not in cast iron guaranteed jobs are they? doesn't Damocles Sword hang over them as well, or am I naive??
Considering all the lay offs of those people who actually do the work instead of "Administration" (how many does it take in the background in ration to people at the front??) I'd have thought he would simply have been relieved just to be kept in a job without such a big carrot. Surely these "Ivory Tower" employees are not in cast iron guaranteed jobs are they? doesn't Damocles Sword hang over them as well, or am I naive?? notchuffed

2:21pm Sat 20 Nov 10

pdb951 says...

I think it is high time we scrapped council run services and transfered them to the private sector where a reality check would be instant and WE council tax payers would have a chance at receiving value for money. This level of pay is sick and shpuld be outlawed. He does not run 42000 staff the tree of command below him run it
I think it is high time we scrapped council run services and transfered them to the private sector where a reality check would be instant and WE council tax payers would have a chance at receiving value for money. This level of pay is sick and shpuld be outlawed. He does not run 42000 staff the tree of command below him run it pdb951

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree