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More action needed on councils' top salaries say Tories

The Shadow Local Government Minister has said that the Welsh Government's crackdown on pay for council chief executives doesn't go far enough.

Recent scandals surrounding the remuneration of some of the highest earners in Welsh local authorities make clear the urgent need for a full review of levels of senior council pay. Whilst I recognise these tiny steps towards greater clarity in setting executive pay levels, they fall far short of the full transparency and accountability that hardworking council taxpayers deserve.

– Shadow Local Government Minister Janet Finch-Saunders AM

Welsh ministers "in dark ages" claim Tories.

The shadow Welsh local government minister has defended the decision by a UK cabinet minister to officially criticise the Welsh Government for not following his lead in allowing the public to report film and tweet local council meetings.

As the Conservative-led Coalition makes further steps towards increased openness and transparency in local government, under Labour Wales is being left behind. Opening up council expenditure and meetings to public scrutiny is the best way to root out waste and avoid corrupt and inappropriate behaviour. In recent months in Caerphilly Council we’ve seen the scandalous wrongdoing that can occur when meetings are held in secret with the bumper pay increases that senior staff awarded themselves.

In an age of voter apathy, we should be making council meetings more accessible by encouraging engagement, live tweeting and web-broadcasting of all council meetings. I fail to understand why the Welsh Labour Government continues to defend keeping taxpayers in the dark about their elected representatives making decisions in their name with their money. Welsh Labour Ministers must move out the dark ages and allow the Welsh public to better engage in local democracy.

– Shadow Local Government Minister Janet Finch-Saunders AM

The row broke when the minister responsible for local government in England, Eric Pickles, released a letter he's sent today to the Welsh local government minister, Lesley Griffiths.


Shadow Local Government Minister calls for 'open and honest review' into senior staff pay

The Shadow Minister for Local Government has written to the Local Government Minister requesting an immediate review of senior staff pay scales.

It follows news that the chief executive of Caerphilly County Borough Council was paid an additional £35,000 despite many public sector workers having their pay frozen for three years.

Janet Finch-Saunders claims that half of the chief executives in Welsh councils earn more than the Prime Minister.

She described it as "utterly scandalous" and said the time had come for an "open and honest" review of senior pay in Welsh councils.

It is grossly unfair that town hall fat cats should continue to milk the system for massive pay hikes when frontline public services are under considerable pressure.

– Janet Finch-Saunders AM, Shadow Minister for Local Government