Lothian Buses directors stripped of bonuses

Ian Craig

Ian Craig

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THE directors of Lothian Buses have been stripped of annual bonuses worth around £250,000 in the wake of a protracted and damaging boardroom battle.

Managing director Ian Craig, finance director Norman Strachan, operations director Bill Campbell and engineering director Bill Devlin – who each received between £190,000 and £270,000 in 2013-14 – are due to leave the company over the course of the next two years following the debacle, which led to the resignation of chairwoman Anne Faulds.

HR director Guy Hughes, who left in January after his senior colleagues were put on notice, has also been stripped of a bonus, but has received a severance payment of nearly £86,000.

Lothian Buses was dogged by infighting for months after Mr Campbell, Mr Devlin and Mr Strachan lodged a formal grievance against Mr Craig in October last year amid claims he undermined them and failed to consult on major decisions.

It has also emerged that Tom Norris, outgoing director and general manager of Edinburgh Trams, has received a bonus of nearly £21,000 for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 periods.

Political figures close to the row said they were not surprised at the decision to axe pay-outs. Conservative councillor Jason Rust said: “Given all of the management difficulties and travails, you would have been surprised if the bonuses had been awarded.

“Hopefully now the company is moving ahead but it has obviously been through a period when there were a number of issues. Given the public nature of the difficulties, large bonuses would not have been seen as appropriate by the public.”

On the issue of pay-outs awarded to Mr Norris, Cllr Rust said: “People are free to move jobs.

“The bonus was presumably awarded for results and performance. Now he is departing, I would hope the current level of performance will continue under the new director.”

Councillor Lesley Hinds, chair of Transport for Edinburgh, said: “A couple of years ago councillors asked the chief executive to express their concern to Lothian Buses’ board regarding the level of remuneration and bonuses for their senior executive team.

“All elected members will welcome their decision not to pay bonuses for 2014, which I believe offers far better value to the Edinburgh tax ayer, particularly as stability is restored to the company’s management.

“The bonus paid to Tom Norris covers both 2013 and 2014, which is a fair reflection of his contribution over the last two-and-a-half years.”

She added: “I wish him all the best in his new role and I’d like to thank him for the hard work he has put into the successful launch of the tram in Edinburgh.”

A spokesman for Lothian Buses said: “The remuneration committee at its meeting of April 30 resolved that a pay award for 2014 together with related bonuses would not be made at the present time.”