Councillors agree to increase Hartlepool Council chief’s pay

Dave Stubbs
Dave Stubbs

A COUNCIL’S chief executive is to see his pay increase after councillors agreed performance-related plans.

Dave Stubbs, Hartlepool Borough Council’s chief executive, was appointed to the role with a salary of between £140,000 and £150,000 with performance-related increments built into that.

Now Mr Stubbs has seen his salary go from to £140,000 to £142,000 after a recent decision by the council’s finance and policy committee.

Senior officers have stressed it is not a pay rise and that the progression through the salary grading brings the chief executive in line with the arrangements for all other council staff in relation to salary increments.

Council officials have also stressed that the salary for the chief executive position was reduced from £168,000 to between £140,000 and £150,000 when Mr Stubbs was appointed as part of ongoing efforts to cut costs.

But Putting Hartlepool First councillor Geoff Lilley did raise concerns about how it would appear to residents.

Coun Lilley said: “It strikes me that there will be a lot of people in this town who have not had a pay increase for years and who will be less than chuffed.”

Andrew Atkin, the council’s assistant chief executive, said it was not to introduce a pay rise, but said that this was to implement incremental progression, which would put the chief executive in line with other staff at the local authority.

Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher, stressed that the salary had already been cut by more than £20,000 following the last review, while Labour councillor Marjorie James said the plans had already been unanimously accepted by full council when Mr Stubbs was appointed.

Labour councillor Chris Simmons said the measures provided a “degree of protection and a structure” that had not been in place before, while Coun Akers-Belcher said it was made clear in the terms and conditions of Mr Stubbs’ contract.

Labour councillor Robbie Payne said he was concerned it came across that “postholders” were being rewarded for delivering the job they should be doing anyway.

The finance and policy committee agreed to the awarding of the performance increment for the chief executive and that further incremental pay awards for the chief executive and directors would be implemented automatically on an annual basis, subject to the council plan, annual governance statement and the conclusion of the budget and policy framework being agreed by the finance and policy committee and council.

Mr Stubbs replaced acting chief executive Nicola Bailey who had held the role since Paul Walker’s retirement.