A letter by David Mead, local Liberal Democrat, published in the Chronicle 29th September:
The Chief Executive, Steve Robinson’s letter (Chronicle 8 September) seems to indicate that he personally received the £45,000 payment for acting as returning officer in the May elections. This was in addition to his regular salary from the Council of £180,000 p.a.
If this was the case, how can it possibly be fair and reasonable? He is employed full time on an extremely generous salary by the CWAC Council. If he took on additional duties, surely it would have been appropriate for the Council to have withheld the same amount (£45,000) from his regular salary as he couldn’t have been doing two jobs at the same time. That amount could then have gone towards paying for the election consultant and regular staff overtime. This in turn would have helped to reduce Council spending and hence council tax. Mr. Robinson’s role was largely as a figure-head and the bulk of the work was actually done by the consultant and his team.
Mr. Robinson says that this has been going on for 26 years and is general throughout the country. This does not make the arrangement any more reasonable, but we should thank him for exposing this anomalous situation. Let’s hope our MP will try to put in motion a Government review and to make a more appropriate arrangement.