Leader: ‘We need to pay better rate for the job’

Have your say

It’s no secret that Edinburgh is a great place to live.

The city’s latest residents survey does throw up issues, but the overall positive feedback is still remarkable. Any town or city anywhere in the world would be
delighted with a 97 per cent approval rating. Most major companies and politicians would be tempted to sell their granny in return for anything close.

What will be equally remarkable to some people is the pay handed to so many of the city’s senior staff. Do we really need to pay £50,000 a year or more to 390 of them?

Civil servants tend to be deeply uncomfortable when their pay is in the spotlight.

It is true that the city council is competing with several other institutions in Edinburgh, never mind others across the UK, for the best staff.

But in these times of austerity it is only right that their pay is held up to scrutiny and comparison and that questions are asked about whether we are getting the best possible value for money.

The most striking comparison to draw with our city officials’ pay is the salaries we give to our elected politicians.

These are the people that we choose to lead our great city. They are the ones who give direction to these highly-paid officials.

Yet the leader of the council is paid a salary of just £50,000 – compared with the chief executive’s £158,000 salary – and ordinary councillors can take home as little as £20,000.

Strong leadership is key to ensuring the future prosperity of us all. If we want to attract, and continue to attract, the best people for that, then we need to start paying a better rate for the job.

Keep talking

Well done to everyone at
Lothiansound on marking 25 years of bringing the Evening News to the blind and partially sighted.

The dedicated volunteers who run the service and produce the weekly recordings give up their time to make a real difference to the quality of life of hundreds of listeners.

Indeed, so popular are the newsreaders that they have come to be considered “friends” coming into homes across the region.

It is fantastic to see their achievements marked in the Scottish Parliament and is fitting recognition for this group of unsung heroes that their great work is very much appreciated.

Here’s to the next 25 years – and 1200 editions – of Edinburgh’s talking newspaper.