Council chief executive’s pension slammed by pressure group

PUBLISHED: 14:52 09 February 2012 | UPDATED: 16:01 09 February 2012

A PRESSURE group has hit out at a County Hall’s pay out for its departing chief executive.

Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) top dog Caroline Tapster will take early retirement in May and she will receive £355,000 over a five-year period.

Matthew Elliott. Chief Executive, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Taxpayers will be staggered at the size of Caroline Tapster’s pay-out at a time when Hertfordshire County Council is faced with pressure to make savings. Councils bosses should take the lead in ending excessive pay deals and reject pension deals that are out of touch with pressures on ordinary taxpayers.

“This shows that trade unions claims about public sector pensions are out of step with the reality and is yet more evidence that those schemes need to be reformed. It’s good to see that her successor will receive a smaller pay cheque.”

The 54-year-old has a basic annual salary of £203,427, has worked at HCC for 16 years and spent more than 30 years in the public sector.

Her role will not be replaced once she retires, with one of the current directors due to take over chief executive duties.

A spokesman for the council said: Like all staff who take early retirement, Caroline will receive an annual pension based on her age at retirement, final salary and length of service.

“This is based on the rules of the national Local Government Pension Scheme. Her pension details are personal and will not be disclosed.

“She is not being made redundant, so will not receive a redundancy payment outside of what she is entitled to. She will be working her notice.”

It was announced this week Ms Tapster’s replacement will earn between £160,000 and £170,000 - a substantial cut but still more than the PM’s £150,000 per annum salary.

The move will save the authority £162,000 a year projected to rise to a £233,000 a year after five years as Ms Tapster’s replacement will come within the council and take on more responsibilities.

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