Council chiefs’ £450k payouts

Three council bosses axed under money-saving plans received nearly £450,000 in redundancy payouts, accounts have revealed.

In November last year, the new Labour administration at Northumberland County Council announced plans to scrap the chief executive role and reduce five directorates to three as a cost-cutting measure. The responsibilities of the chief executive were to pass to one of the three directors, who would become executive leads.

Later that month, we reported that chief executive Steve Stewart, deputy chief executive, Kate Roe, and corporate director of children’s services, Paul Moffat, had all volunteered to leave the authority during the consultation period.

The Gazette attempted to discover the value of any payouts earlier this year via a Freedom of Information request, but was told that ‘the employees concerned left the council on terms agreed in a settlement agreement which are confidential to both parties’.

However, the draft statement of accounts for 2013/14 released on Monday reveals that in compensation for loss of office Mr Stewart was awarded £179,288, Ms Roe £127,089 and Mr Moffat £143,429. This was on top of salaries and pensions contributions meaning the overall renumeration was far higher.