Sir Jeremy Beecham has hit out at Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles’ assertion that the position of council chief executive could be abolished.
Local Government Association Labour group leader Sir Jeremy said: “David Cameron wants us to believe that he will ‘set councils free’, while his party chair is planning to storm into every town hall and sack the chief executive.”
Mr Pickles had said that many chief executives were not needed and that their football manager-level salaries could not be justified “in a time when members have executive responsibilities”.
Sir Jeremy claimed local services had dramatically improved over the last 12 years under Labour.
“Putting ideas into action requires the expertise of chief executives and senior managers in what are large and complex organisations.
“Cutting the power of local councils to take action, as the Tories did in the 80s and 90s, would leave local communities without services they vitally need.
“Every local authority must ensure that the salaries of senior officers are reasonable, and should demonstrate that to local residents, but grasping for low-rent opportunism at the cost of local services shows the Tories are unfit for power.”