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Big deal: Labour “slashes” Ealing council’s senior management team by 7.7%

We all know that the council is having to manage its spending very carefully and make some big changes. Indeed last September council leader Julian Bell told us:

We are facing an unprecedented level of cuts in our budgets over the next four years given the coalition government’s ideological choice to slash public spending by unnecessary amounts and at a reckless speed.

For years many people have felt that the one obvious saving that most local councils could make is in the cost of their senior management teams. Unfortunately not the Ealing Labour group. Like babes in the wood they have failed to get management costs under control. They do not have the experience or confidence to demand that the senior management team at the council start saving at the top. Instead they have gone for frontline services, such as halving park rangers and the latest wheeze of introducing a £40 garden tax.

If you listened to Labour’s propaganda you might think that Ealing’s spending is being cut by 30% (it isn’t). Indeed, in their libraries consultation document Ealing council said:

Due to cuts to our government funding, Ealing Council needs to save £65million over the next three years. This is approximately 30% of the money that the council has available to spend on its services.

I complained at the time that these figures were mendacious but let’s take them at face value. You might expect the senior management team to be cut by 30%? No. 20%? No. 10% even? No. In the last year the council’s senior management team costs have been lightly pared back to the tune of 7.7%.

Last October the former council leader asked a series of 3 questions (40-42, here) asking how many and how much the senior management team at Ealing council cost. This year I have repeated the questions (15,17 and 18, here) to see how much Labour has saved on the senior management team in the course of a year. The answers are tabulated below.

This time last year the council employed 98 senior officers who essentially cost £100,000 each. Now this number is down to 90. I have to say: Big deal!

7 replies on “Big deal: Labour “slashes” Ealing council’s senior management team by 7.7%”

I agree, senior management team cuts are the way to go. How much did the council cut senior management costs when the Conservatives were in charge? Do you have similar figures for previous years?

Emily,

I have not got past figures. I could ask for them but I suspect that it might be hard to construct the answer.

During the Conservatives’ four years in power we managed £60 million in savings so it is not as if our time on power was not without its challenges.

As I remember we removed an HR type role from the corporate board taking it from 6 down to 5. We also recruited a new Chief Executive and FD at much lower salaries than the former (very good) office holders.

It’s a shame comparable past figures for, say, at least a couple of decades back are not publicly available. Just two years worth of figures does not tell much of a story, for instance if senior management salary spending had previously risen year-on-year a 7.7% reduction might not be great but at least would be a positive trend in the right direction. It would be interesting to see at what point salary ratios started widening between the lowest to highest paid council employees.

Phil

Hmmmmmm

I seem to remember somewhere in the past that either on your website or on Ealing Today I took the Tories to task for creating quite a number of well paid positions in the last couple years of your administration.

But you are right about the measly 7% reduction.

George,

What well paid positions?

I give you facts. You give me vaguely remembered accusations.

The Tories implemented £60 million of savings when we were in power so I think you will be hard pressed to find instances of us “creating quite a number of well paid positions in the last couple years of your administration”.

Corrected version:

I would very much like to see the member of the executive board responsible for the non-functional fountain in Walpole Park and the decline of Walpole Park to be outplaced. It would save a couple of hundred thousand a year and it would not cost anything as the state of Walpole Park and its fountain should be sufficient grounds for his/her dismissal.

Will.

With regards to your reply to George Phil, to be fair you haven’t been able to give us the facts on how much the Tories spent in power either. Telling us you made £60 million in savings is not the same as giving us the figures for how many senior management posts there were and their total salary costs – which you say you are unable to do…

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