TaxPayers’ Alliance invites Northumberland councillors to sign 'No Payout Pledge' in relation to damning report

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) is calling on Northumberland County councillors to vote to block any “excessive” payouts to council officers in the wake of a damning report.

By Andrew Coulson
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 11:28 am

Max Caller’s review of the local authority’s governance failures warned of a “climate of fear and intimidation” at the council and said that the effectiveness of its leadership had “deteriorated significantly” over recent years, after a breakdown in relations between politicians and senior officers.

Councillors have agreed to adopt the recommendations of the report, which includes a restructure of senior management “as soon as practically possible”, and earlier this month they approved an updated plan of action – including the appointment of a new external advisory board.

But ahead of an extraordinary meeting of the council tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, the TPA is calling on councillors in an open letter to sign its ‘No Payout Pledge’ at Harry’s Coffee Bar in Newgate Street, Morpeth, between 10am and 1pm.

Harry’s Coffee Bar in Newgate Street. Picture from the Harry’s Morpeth Facebook page.

Afterwards, at 1.30pm, the TPA will hold a small protest outside County Hall before attending the meeting.

The TPA’s letter includes the following: “At tomorrow’s meeting, you will receive a report “concerning ongoing litigation, including options for mediation and alternative dispute resolution” relating to chief officers.

“Given the reports of financial impropriety at the council, the TaxPayers’ Alliance is calling on councillors to block any excessive payouts to council officers in breach of financial rules.

“With this in mind, we invite you to show your support for hard-pressed local taxpayers and sign our No Payout Pledge.”