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"CEOs need to sustain the leadership they have shown and ensure that this is felt throughout the organisation in the coming months and years."

LESLEY FORDYCE, SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT EXPERT, pa consulting group

 

Scottish council chiefs agree to forgo 2.5% pay rise

Chief executives at 32 local authorities in Scotland have agreed to forgo a 2.5 per cent increase in their salaries for 2010-11, it has been announced.

The move follows negotiations between the executives' representative body the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives and the employers' organisation the Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

COSLA said the decision, which follows a move by council leaders to waive their pay increases for next year, was made in recognition of the "colossal financial pressures" facing public sector spending budgets in Scotland.

The organisation's strategic human resource management spokesman, councillor Michael Cook, said: "The testing times both now and which lie ahead are such that leadership counts and chief executives have shown genuine leadership which we trust will set an example to others."

In related news, Audit Scotland recently published a report showing public bodies in Scotland cut spending by 3.1 per cent in 2008-09 against a target of two per cent.

However, the country's deputy auditor general, Caroline Gardner, warned that councils will need new approaches to increase efficiency, as meeting the target each year will not be enough to bridge the gap in spending and funding over the next few years.

PA's Scottish government expert Lesley Fordyce comments: "It is heartening to see Scottish Local Government demonstrating real leadership at such a difficult time. This move by Local Authority Chief Executives is important in that it shows the Chief Executives acting collectively in a way which is both sensitive and also hugely symbolic. This gives credibility and authenticity to some of the actions they are going to have to make in the coming months and years. Each authority will need to ensure that this is the start of tangible change, with a focus on delivering value for citizens and removing waste from their operations."

To speak to a consultant about our work in Scotland or to find out more about our thinking on effectiveness and efficiency, please contact us now.