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Alastair Robertson, chief executive of Three Rivers DC, wrote to the editor of The Sunday Times (p20), responding t...
Alastair Robertson, chief executive of Three Rivers DC, wrote to the editor of The Sunday Times (p20), responding to claims in the newspaper last week that local authorities and other public bodies were paying 'fat cat' salaries to senior officers.

Mr Roberston wrote:

'Local authority pay for senior executives lags well behind the private sector with fewer perks such as share options. Who in the private sector would dream of being chief execuitve of Birmingham with its conglomerate of services to one million people, budget of£2.5bn and involvement with politicians for a mere£165,000?

On other pages, your arts editor reports that Tate Modern cannot find a new boss because its£75,000 salary is uncompetitive and he says the BBC is poised to offer ITV's Mary Nightingale more than her£160,000. Just how demanding is the role of a television presenter? I do not expect you will call her a fat-cat bureaucrat.

The public sector is sprouting quangos offering big salaries to criticise those in local councils, schools and hospitals. It pays more to tell others how to do it than to make the changes to keep customer-focused. People who are undervalued and then derided when there is a bit of a catch-up in pay are voting with their feet.

The trouble is there is no longer a generation ready to fill their shoes. Few in the public sector recommend that their children follow their example.'

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