Council chief’s pay increases again amid call for lower rise

Nigel Lynn, chief executive of Arun District Council
Nigel Lynn, chief executive of Arun District Council

Arun District Council chief executive Nigel Lynn’s salary will rise again after councillors approved an increase higher than the rate most of his staff are expected to receive this year.

Nigel Lynn will receive a 2.5 per cent pay boost, equating to nearly £3,000 extra.

It follows a bumper rise 12 months ago when his salary jumped around £6,000 to £117,000.

Councillors voted in favour of the latest increase last Wednesday, despite efforts by opposition councillors to limit the rise to two per cent, in line with the expected national officer pay settlement.

Liberal Democrats leader Dan Purchese, whose party proposed the two per cent cap, said he was disappointed with the decision after 2017’s ‘whopping’ uplift.

He said: “It seems like common sense to us that the chief executive shouldn’t receive an increase at a quicker rate than all the staff.

“We have a great workforce and I am sure all the staff get good appraisals as well but their pay isn’t rising any quicker.

“It is all about fairness.”

The Lib Dems were supported in their amendment by Independent Jim Brooks and Labour’s Mike Northeast, Mr Purchese reported.

Mr Northeast echoed the Lib Dems’ fairness call. He said: “Whatever the national agreement is the panel could say this is what we will follow, so it is fair and everyone gets the same pay rise.

“As I see it the whole of the authority is a team. It is not just one person that should be honoured.

The 2.5 per cent increase was recommended to full council following the annual meeting of the chief executive’s remuneration panel in December.

The committee heard Mr Lynn’s appraisal panel, held in private, had scored his performance 3.5 out of four. Guidelines agreed by the appraisal panel indicated this merited the 2.5 per cent hike.

Arun leader Gill Brown said the chief executive’s salary decisions were only taken after an in-depth process, not linked to officer pay discussions.

She said: “Following the annual appraisal of the chief executive last year by the leader, deputy leader and leader of the opposition, the panel deemed that the chief executive had fulfilled the role of clear and effective leadership, managing the organisation of 390 employees.”