Labour criticises council’s job ads offering six-figure salaries

Posted On 24 Nov 2020 at 12:25 pm

Two jobs worth up to £125,000 a year are on offer at Brighton and Hove City Council, prompting an angry response from Labour.

The council is also spending more than £10,000 on the recruitment process, the party said, including £2,000 on psychometric testing.

The council is advertising for an executive director for families, children and learning and an executive director for housing, neighbourhoods and communities.

The two new recruits will be members of the council’s executive leadership team, with a starting salary of £114,503 to £125,407.

xmas collections

Labour criticised the council for advertising the posts “in the midst of an unprecedented public health and economic crisis”.

The party said: “This comes at a time when residents and businesses across the city are struggling financially and the average salary in Brighton and Hove is £28,000.

“Before leaving administration, then leader of the council, Nancy Platts agreed for interim temporary cover of one executive post while a new senior structure was approved that would streamline the senior team and save money.

“The restructuring plan Labour signed off on in July would have saved the council £116,000 a year.

“Labour’s plan also included regrading the director of strategy, governance and law position to be on a par with the other members of the executive leadership team.

“Labour councillors were left with the impression that their plan would be taken through a consultation process over the summer with a report coming to the Policy and Resources Committee in September and recruitment starting immediately afterwards.

“With the change in administration, it was expected there would be some delays but there has been no notification that the plan has been dropped altogether.

“Had it been followed through, the restructure would now be in place and the council would already be saving thousands of pounds on interim cover and its senior salary bill.”

Councillor Nancy Platts, leader of the Labour group of councillors, said: “Many people are really struggling financially because of the pandemic.

Councillor Nancy Platts

“People are struggling to pay rent, pay their bills and hold on to their jobs and businesses.

“Labour councillors feel it’s inappropriate that in these circumstances the council is advertising six-figure salary jobs.

“Thousands of pounds of council taxpayers’ money are being spent on the recruitment process alone, despite us agreeing a viable alternative plan some months ago that we thought was still going ahead.

“Labour’s plan would have saved over £100,000 and we call on the Green administration to take another look and back our plans for a restructure ahead of the next budget when we will be facing some difficult choices about how to make millions of pounds of savings.”

The council’s former executive director for housing, neighbourhoods and communities, Larissa Reed, left over a year ago. She has since become the chief executive of Swale Borough Council.

Larissa Reed

Pinaki Ghoshal moved across from being the council’s executive director for families, children and learning to cover her post. He has since left the council to become for children and young people at Lewisham London Borough Council.

Deb Austin, the assistant director for children’s safeguarding and care in Brighton and Hove, has stepped up to serve as the interim executive director for families, children and learning.

And the council appointed Rachel Sharpe, from London, to become the interim executive director for housing, neighbourhoods and communities in June.

Rachel Sharpe

The council’s former executive director for finance and resources, Dave Kuenssberg, left the council to become finance director at the Home Office at the start of the year.

Deputy chief finance officer Nigel Manvell stepped up to cover his role but, as yet, no plans have been announced publicly to fill the post permanently.

  1. Donna Le Reply

    Didn’t the previous postholders leave under can-do Nancy’s time as leader after she bullied them all out?

  2. Andrew Phillips Reply

    Is the same Nancy who used agency cover for one of the roles at a cost of £1k a day? Hardly good use of public money rather than just getting on with recruitment as is now happening

  3. Jonathan Simons Reply

    Maybe if your administration hadn’t collapsed in a cloud of racism then you could have carried on your plans, incompetent though they sound

  4. Greens Out Reply

    would anyone care to ask Nancy how much her adminsitration, before they sepctacularly self destructed and handed power to (somehow) an even more idiotic bunch of lunatics, spent on severance pay amongst its top earners? (As of 2019 there were nine posts in BHCC where the pay was in excess of £100k p.a…….and yet what did we, the residents, get out of that in terms of improvements in service? Nothing. That’s what.)

  5. Rostrum Reply

    HaHa… Psychometric Testing … The latest Vodo tool in the recruitment process.. Right up there with Hand writing analysis, feeling ya head bumps and reading the dregs in a tea cup…

  6. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    And, of course, in 2001 – a fifth of a century ago – Labour wanted a “directly-elected” Mayor on £150,000 a year.

    An interesting reflection on these times is that the proponents of that distant memory – Lard Bassam and Simon Fanshawe – have gone very quiet during a world in turmoil.

    • Nigel Furness Reply

      Agreed, Christopher, but don’t you think that all this pales into insignificance when compared with the whopping £40 MILLION PLUS debt that the previous ‘Green’ Administration (of which YOU were a part) lumbered the Council Tax-payers with?
      Pots & kettles, methinks!

      • Greens Out Reply

        Not only that, they spent £37k on LEGAL fees to prevent the public, ie the council tax payers, SEEING the business plan for the i360.

        That’s nearly 800 Band C properties worth of Council Tax. On legal fees. To prevent those taxpayers seeing the plan for something they’ll end up paying even more tax for.


        Use this as a legal dispute for misappropriation of public funds. You’ll be surprised…

        • Nigel Furness Reply

          Absolutely right, Greens Out!
          The colleagues I’m currently collaborating with as regards this VERY issue number amongst them some highly competent ‘Legal Beagles’ who are of the opinion that by engaging lawyers at WHATEVER COST, in order to keep council tax payers ignorant as to the future risk posed to the City’s (THEIR) finances, was an ILLEGAL act and as such, should prove to be the achillie’s heel of the then Council when it comes to pending LEGAL ACTION..
          Some think that there is a viable case for prosecution of the Council Officers concerned for acting beyond their remit whilst others are persuaded that it was the the Councillors (all the ‘Greens’ and most, though not all of the Tories) who voted through those Officers’ advice, who should carry the can.
          Either way, it could come down to the guilty parties being jointly and severally SEQUESTRATED for their roles in this squalid episode.
          Watch this space!

      • rolivan Reply

        As I keep saying the Greens and Labour spend money but cannot create revenue streams. The amount of money that has been lost in one way or another in the last 10 years is absolutely shameful. Housing Contracts. Payoffs for CEOs buying useless equipment, not following up on non payment of Parking Meter Revenue until it got to over 3 million, borrowing money to fund a White Elephant and borrowing more money to pay for Landscaping around it. What has Geoff Raw and his Directors and Officers been doing to justify their very very large Salaries.

        • Greens Out Reply

          Theyve chucked a load of money at the homeless which has helped clean up the stree……oh. No it hasn’t.

          Oh and they’ve………nope. Trying to think of one single thing that’s actually justifying their over inflated PUBLICLY PAID FOR salaries.

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