‘The impact is likely to be far from dramatic’

a very interesting conversation will have to be held in the City Chambers should Labour win control of the Capital in May’s local elections.

What would you pay to be a fly on the wall when Labour leader Andrew Burns explains to the council’s redoubtable chief executive Sue Bruce that she will have to take a pay cut?

The party has made cutting the gap between the council’s highest and lowest-paid employees a central plank of its manifesto.

As part of the plan, its says, the salary of the local authority’s most senior official would have to be capped below its current level.

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Closing the pay gap is a laudable aim, and one with plenty of popular appeal, especially at a time when “fat cat” bankers’ bonuses are keeping the issue of executive pay at the front of people’s minds.

But the impact is likely to be far from dramatic.

The one-to-12 ratio suggested here, coupled with Labour’s proposed £7.20-an-hour Living Wage for the lowest paid, would add up to a pay cut for the chief executive of around £1000, or less than one per cent, on a salary of almost £160,000.

Avoiding a big pay cut is perhaps wise considering the city may once again wish to attract another successful chief officer from a smaller local authority when Mrs Bruce eventually departs – and the pay on offer could be crucial.

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A more radical option might be introducing an element of performance-related pay similar to that on offer to chief constables. That way we would always be sure we were only paying big bucks for the right results.

Naked ambition

There are not many angles left uncovered when it comes to naked charity calendars, but Rosie Maxwell might just have hit upon one.

The mum-of-two has convinced her own mother, 69-year-old Irene, to take part in her version of the Calendar Girls as she raises money for breast cancer research. And in the name of equality, she is also producing a male version.

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That Rosie has organised all this, along with putting together a major fundraising ball, while preparing for major surgery is an incredible feat.

Well done to Rosie for her efforts and of course Irene for being such a good sport.

Let’s hope the resulting calendar flies off the shelves in aid of such a worthy cause.

Surely there cannot be any other twists to the naked charity calendar phenomenon . . .