EDITOR’S COMMENT: Are councils’ top brass worth their bumper pay packets?

CENTRAL Government is asking all local authorities to examine whether or not their chief executives, and indeed senior management, are worth the millions of pounds they cost the tax payer every year.

Some councils have taken them at their word - and then some - by parting ways with the people responsible for leading and managing multi-million-pound budgets.

But are we in danger of making our local authorities LESS accountable, and more susceptible to veering off course, by doing so?

Every corporation needs a leader. Someone at the very top who dictates the pace of enterprise, pushes strategic thinking down across the business, and uses their expertise, experience and knowledge to keep the ship from running aground.

That figurehead will almost certainly have a network of contacts that can only benefit the organisation for which the individual works.

And perhaps more importantly, it is essential that everybody knows who carries the can when things go awry.

Of course, the debate as to whether the leaders of public office should be paid six-figure sums remains a hot one.

So what do you think? Do our local authorities need good leaders?

by James Mitchinson