That’s quite a pay rise
Some more information on the new S151 officer appointed by Somerset County Council. We can’t use the abbreviation SCC here for reasons which will become obvious!
Shelia Collins (previously Sheila Little) worked as Finance Director of Surrey County Council until July 2018 when as we reported yesterday, she left at the very time the council was trying to balance a budget that looked as if it would overspend by £11m.
The Leveller has obtained details of senior salaries at Surrey County Council that suggest in 2017 (we have not been able to obtain the figures for 2018/19) the Finance Director of Surrey County Council was paid £119,518.
No doubt she received a further pay rise for 2018/19 but for the moment hold onto that figure.
The amount she proposed for her pay by Somerset County Council is nearly double that. At £900 a day her annual salary is of the order of £211,000 assuming five weeks off for holidays and bank holidays. That is some £60,000 more than the Prime Minister.
We recognise that the pay being offered here is on a short term contract. But the proposed contract is for 13 months.
Does this justify a near doubling of her pay?
And does it justify that for someone who left her job when it was starting to get difficult? Especially given the difficulties Somerset County Council have also experienced in balancing the books.
We understand that unlike the arrangements back in 2014 when Peter Lewis and a deputy were brought in to turn around Children’s Services, this time the pay rates have not been paid via an agency. Agencies typically add anything from 15% to 20% to the cost of a contract.
In other words the full amount of £900 a day is being paid directly to Sheila Collins.