Wandsworth Council chief executive Paul Martin questioned by MPs over 'extravagant' salary
The chief executive of Wandsworth Council has been quizzed by MPs over his ‘extravagant’ pay packet.
An influential House of Commons committee, the communities and local government select committee, has launched an inquiry into pay and rewards for senior council officers.
Some of London’s highest-paid chiefs, including Wandsworth chief exec Paul Martin, were asked to defend their huge pay packets on Wednesday, June 4.
Mr Martin received an extra £20,000 last year while Wandsworth Council stripped millions of pounds from its budget and axed scores of jobs.
His pay, including bonuses and pension payments, rocketed from £254,880 in 2012 to £274,224 the following year.
Opposition leader, Labour's Councilllor Rex Osborn, said: "At a time when the Wandsworth Conservatives are mid way through a programme of more than £100m in cuts, it is astonishing that they continue to refuse to make any concessions on high pay.
"It’s an embarrassment for Wandsworth that our borough has been singled out by MPs as an example of excess - and once again it highlights the mismanagement of our council by the Conservatives."
Sadiq Khan, the Labour MP for Tooting, added: “I know many local residents are disgusted to see these cuts happening at the same time as town hall bosses’ salaries and bonuses have been increasing.”
A council spokesman said "In our view linking pay to performance is the best way of ensuring that the public receive high quality value-for-money public services.
"Under the leadership of our chief executive we have reduced the number of senior managers by 30 per cent and saved more than £1m in executive pay since 2010 and that process is continuing.
"Wandsworth has a proven track record of providing residents with the best value for money services of any local authority in the country.
"We have one of the highest residents' satisfaction approval ratings of any town hall in the country while our council tax is half the London average and has been the lowest in the whole UK for the past 20 years."
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