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Howard Bernstein rejects Pickles' pay call

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Manchester City Council boss Sir Howard Bernstein has rejected calls by communities secretary Eric Pickles for town hall chiefs to take a pay cut.

Sir Howard, left, who earned more than £230,000 last year for council work and other responsibilities, told the Manchester Evening News: “I don’t think this is an issue for discussion with central government.

“My salary, as chief executive for Manchester, is decided by Manchester City Council and the elected leaders.”

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Mr Pickles said: “Everyone in the public sector must do their bit to cut back.

“The Prime Minister’s taken a pay cut, I’ve taken a pay cut, so I say to my many chums who are council chief executives - it’s your turn now.

“Trust me, I’m here to help, you will feel better for it - you’ll be able to look your council workers in the eye.”

Mr Pickles also reiterated his insistence that no new council chief executives should be appointed on a salary greater than the Prime Minister’s £142,500.

He pledged to put “communities back in charge”, as he suggested councils should share work and increase transparency.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • My question is 'what is the PM's real salary?' He gets Downing Street and Chequers for free. I assume he gets a lot of his food, transport and other basic living expenses for free. And of course, being PM will set him up for a £1m+ job when he's through - which few CXs could hope to achieve (I assume this is one of the incentives for standing). Finally, of course, PM's ultimately get 'elected to office', whereas CXs compete in the market place. If LAs want the best , most qualified, greatest achievers, then they have to pay the market rate for that.

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  • According to 'More or Less' on R4 on Sunday evening, the value of the PM's package is around £350k, taking into account the value of a Central London 4 bed flat which was estimated at £2k/week, for example; whilst his pension was valued at £45.5k/pa. Valuations were also put on Chequers and his tranpsort, food and living costs which are intrinsic to his job.

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