Arun District Council’s chief executive should receive a pay rise of more than £6,000, councillors recommended on Tuesday.
Nigel Lynn’s salary is set to rise from £110,603 to £117,011, taking into account his performance and to bring it in line with comparative salaries of other council chiefs.
The increase – to be agreed by full council – was supported by members of the chief executive’s remuneration committee.
But Liberal Democrat councillor Dr James Walsh refused to back the rise, branding it ‘outlandish, outrageous and immoral in every way’.
He said: “I think that is exactly why people are alienated from the elite, who look after themselves and this is from a council that is currently shrinking in size, providing fewer services, has no local plan in place, is slow on social housing.”
Mr Lynn was adjudged in his appraisal to have done ‘exceptionally’, with the committee recommending the maximum three per cent performance-related rise.
But in addition, it approved a £3,000 boost, recognising his salary was lower than other comparative chief executives. Mr Lynn will also take on extra duties when deputy chief executive Nigel Croad leaves next year, as part of a cost-saving restructure.
Supporting the rise, Conservative councillor Phil Hitchins said: “I think it is an affront to the people of Arun that we pay the chief executive less than the majority of other comparable authorities.”
UKIP’s Colin Cates said Mr Lynn was a ‘better than average’ chief executive who had taken on extra responsibilities.
Tory Terry Chapman said he respected Dr Walsh’s ‘sincerity’ but said the chief executive was in a unique position as head of the paid service. He added the one per cent rise for all staff did not take account of incremental increases many employees would get.
This newspaper criticised the committee last year for meeting entirely in private, excluding press and public.
In a new format, only Mr Lynn’s appraisal was discussed in private, with the meeting then opened up to the public for a debate on the recommendations.