Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How much should we pay a Town Clerk?

This is a key question for this Town. I feel we had been overpaying our previous Town Clerk for an easy job done badly. The Society of Local Council Clerks has a job finder section. This has jobs such as one for Wokingham Town Council (slightly larger than St Neots) which advertises the Town Clerks job as between £38k and £50k.

So how much was the salary of the former Town Clerk (P. Devonald)? In a Freedom of Information request the salary was given as between £53,116 to £56,039. In the first version of the Annual Report the salary scale was between £60,000 to £69,999. In the amended second report presented to the Town Council his salary has now moved up another bracket to between £70,000 to £79,999.

He was only employed for 3/4 of the year so that would make an pro-rata salary of £100,000.

So what are the benefits of being a Town Clerk? The job will entail job a 37 hour a week with 6 weeks paid holiday plus bank holidays and other occasional days. There would be a contributory pension scheme (7.5% employee/20% taxpayer) and a car or car allowance.

Councillors and other politicians are required by law to publish their salaries and allowances. High time our high up Council Officers have to do the same.

Getting back to the original question. The cynic in me sees the "game" being played. This is a long term game. Make the Town Council larger and the Town Clerk wants more pay. The salary and wages are reviewed and upped and of course the Town Clerk needs to be paid at a higher rate. Currently there is a staff structure review going on. If SNTC is compared with similar Town Councils then the size of our pre-crisis administration must reduce. We should be attracting a Town Clerk at less than £50,000 salary.

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