Friday, 2 April 2010



At least 1,250 council staff nationwide get that salary or more. These are NOT elected councillors but paid staff. Our share of that in Wigan is:

Joyce Redfearn, Chief Executive; Total Remuneration 2007-2008 £196,268; 2008-2009 £200,891; increase of 2.4%.

David Smith, Executive Director;Total Remuneration 2007-2008 £159,733; 2008-2009 £147,493; DECREASE of 7.7%.

Bernard Walker, Executive Director; Total Remuneration 2007-2008 £150,035; 2008-2009 £137,101; DECREASE of 8.6%.

Sue Johnson, Deputy Chief Executive; Total Remuneration 2007-2008 £108,265; 2008-2009 £136,725; increase of 26.3%

Martin Kimber, Executive Director; Total Remuneration 2007-2008 £114,385; 2008-2009 £133,907; increase of 17.1%.

Nick Hudson, Executive Director; Total Remuneration 2008-2009 £125,531.

I'm making no comments about those salary levels (and some of the increases) other than to say that if you NEED more than £52,000/year (£1,000/week) then in my personal opinion you must have a lifestyle problem. That's just my personal opinion.

Having said that, and speaking as an outsider (Welsh) who has lived within the jurisdiction of 14 different councils in my life, and Wigan for some six years now, Wigan is one of the two best councils (the other exceptionally good one was High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire) I've experienced.

Wigan is Labour is Labour is Labour, and has been seemingly forever. High Wycombe is Tory is Tory is Tory and has been seemingly forever. I wouldn't say one was first best and the other second best - they are just the two best.

I won't name the worst council I've experienced, but will say the first three years there it was Labour-controlled, and the second three years it was Tory-controlled. It was equally bad in both cases.

From what I've just written I've arrived at the conclusion that what decides whether you have a good council or a bad council does NOT depend on the colour of the political control, but rather the quality of the paid staff (all the paid staff, not just the highly paid staff). So maybe the salaries listed above are justified? I don't know other than my personal comment above about needing more than £52,000/year. Make your own judgements, the comment column here is available.

However, I will describe an observation I've made over the past few years: the people who complain the most about the council seem to be people who've never lived within the jurisdiction of any other council. So how can you know the council is bad or good or average if you've nothing to compare it against? If you do complain about the effectiveness of the council, please try and imagine how bad a council can be, if you think Wigan's bad.

I'll probably get it in the neck for saying those things ... but they are what I think, and a can say nothing different.

Those numbers were awfully big though, weren't they!



Leigh, Lancashire Nationalist said... could you? Just how could you say anything remotely positive about our ghastly council?

I appreciate you may have lived within other council areas over your nomadic years so hence your opinion and observation, but, there are many, many areas in this borough that I know you haven't seen or visited.

And too bloody true I complain the most! And yes, it is because I haven't lived anywhere else which makes me more than qualified to comment on the continued wanton destruction and social failure of my town and borough by the powers that be in their over inflated ivory council tower on fraudulent salaries!

Next you'll be telling me that Elliot Brown does sterling work for the council as well!!

Sir Henry Morgan said...

I don't think so - Elliot doesn't have a future as far as I'm concerned.

I'll concede that my views are determined by my personal experiences, which, in Wigan have been good. No doubt someone could hsve bad experiences here and think the council is awful.

I have heard it said that the council is "alright, I suppose, but it USED to be better".

So what brought on the change? Wigan's now part of Manchester - did it used to be a part of Lancashire County Council instead?

If it used to be good then got worse ... what changed to bring the deterioration about?

Or has it slowly deteriorated since 'Common Purpose' arrived in the NorthWest in 2004?

Lanky Patriot said...

Morgan, I know you do not drive at present but the road system in Wigan and surrounding areas is a disgrace. There is hardly one straight road even when these could have been put in place during redevelopment.
Many have "traffic calming" schmes in place which add to the congestion without improving safety.
Idiotic cycle lanes are everywhere which give no advantage to cyclists while the Saddle roundabout is a shambles and even confuses Wiganers.
The road at Westwood which goes nowhere and if planned properly would relieve congestion but cost a fortune for no benefit I can see.

Have you tried to get through Standish lights? A nightmare much of it caused by excessive housebuilding. Building "apartments" in areas already congested only makes things worse.

One thing though I can't fault my binmen, but when talking to them they are fed up with the often stupid orders they are given.
It is the management that is at fault, not the council workers who are often low paid.
I have seen ground staff ordered to take vehicles on to football pitches after heavy rain causing severe damage to the pitches.

If you want to get a true verdict on Wigan Metro go and ask the ordinary workers who actually do the useful work.

If there are places worse than here God help them.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

I know what goes on. But we have to stop giving the impression we criticise ALL of the council. It is the biggest employer here, and most of those employees are like us and potential supporters. Why alienate them? They don't actually do a bad job.

Now if you want to talk about the corruption amongst elected councillors, that's a different ball game.

Andy said...

Thats £2.80 on my council tax. Typical for a bunch of managerial failures.

Wigan should of had a bypass. An 'A' road built From Jn. 25 of the M6 to Jn. 6 of the M61. When it was possible to do so. Now over development has wrecked that chance. The A225 would of complimented it beautifully. This would of removed a considerable quantity of vehicular backlog that has troubles from the M61 to the M6.

Not only that but removed the fast traffic from built up areas. Making them better places to live.

What happened to that A225? One Wigan lad told me to get the grants, they had to allow the importation of asylum seekers and the like to get the grants into place.

I've no idea if its true but the timing was about right.