15 August 2010
Senior Officers; Andrew Gabbitas & Ian Davis
Rugby Borough Council
Dear Mr Gabbitas and Mr Davis
COUNCILLOR CRAIG HUMPHREY SHOULD STAND DOWN!
We wish to express our concerns about your endorsement of Councillor Craig Humphrey being employed by Rugby Borough Council in a Chief Executive role.
As you will be aware an individual employed by the local authority is strictly forbidden from standing for election as candidates for the said local authority.
The recent case (May 2010) of Councillor Louise Couling who was employed for just a few hours a week as a Lolly Pop lady by Barking & Dagenham Borough Council, who was forced to resign her seat (Barking and Dagenham Post - http://www.bdpost.co.uk/) after being elected to the said Council indicates the pickle that Rugby Borough Council has got itself into.
Mr Humphrey should therefore stand down as a Councillor, as this could be seen to contravene electoral law and many would say long established good practice.
Many people would be surprised to see that Mr Gabbitas himself as the Electoral Returning Officer for Rugby Borough Council has not advice this course of action and we in the Green Party would suggest that Mr Gabbitas urgently seek advice from the Electoral Commission over this issue if he has not done so already?
We in the Green Party, agree that Rugby Borough Council paying £103,000 a year for a Chief Executive as they did with the last Chief Executive Simon Warren is not acceptable and action should be taken to ensure that no one is paid this massive amount at Rugby Borough Council.
The Green Party positive policy in respect of the inequalities in pay that exist in local government is we believe helpful in this matter and that is no one should earn more than ten times the minimum wage in a local authority.
Another bench mark for deciding the pay of a Chief Executive is the pay rate for a Senior Officer of the local authority which is between £20,000 - £24,000 a year, given the greater responsibility involved, the Chief Executive pay should be no more than £35,000 a year, given his or her responsibility for 480 staff and the conduct of 48 Councillors. Thus saving £60,000 on the current post!
So in conclusion Mr Gabbitas and Mr Davis, instead of creating an inappropriate job for Mr Humphrey you should instead seek to reduce the pay of the Chief Executive using the formulas above or perhaps engage with local stakeholders and see what they think?
In the meantime. Craig Humphrey should stand down as a Councillor, as he appears ineligible to sit as a Councillor given his employment by the Council.
Rugby Green Party