SBC chief executive Tracy Logan’s salary increased by £10,000 last year and the number of council employees earning more than £50,000 a year rose by 13 per cent.
At a time when public sector pay has been virtually frozen nationally, with unions battling to secure one per cent increases for even the lowest paid, Scottish Borders Council’s annual accounts for 2014/15 reveal several massive redundancy packages and platinum-plated pensions.
The 111-page document recording how SBC spent our money during the last financial year reveals compensation for loss of employment and the pension costs for three former top officials.
These include payments to former education boss Glen Rodger, whose compensation for loss of employment totalled £82,569. Mr Roger’s pension amounts to £48,999 per annum and he was paid a pension lump sum of £119,798. Henry Thompson, head of transformation projects, received a compensation payment of £60,843, a pension of £39,062 per year and a pension lump sum of £98,943; and Ian Wilkie, head of corporate governance, received a compensation payment of £61,892, a pension of £34,242 per annum and a pension lump sum of £84,484.
The report also reveals that 40 exit packages, among them 21 compulsory redundancies, cost the council £626,136.
A payment of £8.296million, including interest, will be required in 2015/16 to service the debt incurred on the three secondary schools which were built under the PFI system. The total due over the next 30 years on the school builds is recorded as £258million and coupled with net debt which currently stands at £175million and £49 million due to other creditors, the local authority’s total debt is more than £482million.
The report concludes: “The operating environment continues to be very challenging with financial and economic influences such as welfare reform, increasing demands on services, low interest rates and cost pressures from pay and price inflation all affecting the council’s finances. The council, despite these challenges, remains financially sound and well placed to serve Borderers.”
A council spokesperson said: “The remuneration of the chief executive is set nationally. The increase relates to a one per cent pay award and additional returning officer duties at elections and the referendum. We do not feel it is appropriate to comment on departing senior employees’ remunerations.”