I was amazed to read that the Labour-controlled Newcastle City Council has given Chief Executive Pat Ritchie yet another pay rise. This latest pay rise will reportedly put Ms Ritchie’s (who was already paid more than the Prime Minister) salary at £160,000 per year.
This Labour council have spent the last few years threatening local residents with cuts to everything from healthcare to school crossing patrols ‘due to a lack of government funding.’ Whilst there is no doubt that Tory austerity has made life difficult for councils, I admit that I find it curious that even in the midst of savage cuts to frontline services, Newcastle City Council seem to have a limitless pot of money available to fund pay rise after pay rise for senior council staff.
I for one cannot blame your readers for questioning whether this council exists to serve local residents or their highest paid and most powerful staff.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East