It makes me very angry to read that the chief executive of Arun District Council has been recommended for a near six per cent salary increase by councillors, at a time when his staff’s salary reviews are pegged at much lower levels and services face huge cuts.
Wage levels across the district are abysmal.
If we measure earnings by place of work ie for those working in the district but not necessarily living in the district, the gross weekly pay figure for full time workers is £415.20. (Source: Nomis.)
Arun has the lowest average wage in West Sussex; Adur £470.30, Crawley £595.10, Horsham £520.60, Mid Sussex £501.30, Chichester £506.90, and Worthing £452.70.
The South East average is 36 per cent higher than Arun, at £566.00.
The Great Britain average is 30 per cent higher than Arun, at £540.20.
Arun is the second worst in the entire south east region after Thanet with £414.50. That makes Arun 66th out of 67 local authorities.
The low wage levels explain, in part, why something like 27 per cent of Arun people have to out-commute each day to find better paid employment.
So what exactly is Arun’s strategy to drive up wage levels in the district? Was this one of Mr Lynn’s targets, as set by councillors? If not, why not?
Running a council is not just about imposing cuts and pay restrictions, it’s also about setting out a strategy to address the problems we face.
Perhaps Mr Lynn should be targeted to focus on initiatives for driving up average wage levels, for the benefit of all workers in the district – not just his own!
The council has completely failed to address this issue over many years and the chief executive must shoulder some of the responsibility.
I hope that the council and/or Mr Lynn himself will choose to lead by example and reject this pay increase. After all, we are all in it together!
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