How much should Salford's directly elected mayor be paid?
Published: 30th Apr 2012 06:24:08
Salford mayoral candidates were recently invited to a BBC public debate asking them, among other things, how much should a mayor get paid?
A week before the people of Salford choose their first mayor, nine of the 10 candidates filed into MediaCityUK to discuss a range of community issues broadcast live on Radio Manchester.
And with the first question the floor opened to a lively debate.
Answers ranged from pledges of zero to £75,000 - there is no national system yet to set the salary for directly-elected mayors.
The question not only relates to manifesto pledges, it is one of the first issues the mayor will have to deal with once in office.
At the lowest end of the spectrum, independent candidate Paul Massey said: "I will do it for free; I will do it for the voice of the people."
Some of the figures... are absolutely scandalous”
The highest salary came from BNP candidate Ed O'Sullivan who expected to get £75,000 - with a pay rise if he brought enough money into the city.
Liberal Democrat Norman Owen said he would look to get the same salary as he gets now as an engineer, £42,000 plus council allowance, which rounded it to about £60,000 to £70,000.
More modestly, Michael Moulding of the Community Action Party committed himself to £35,000, as did Bernard Gill, for UKIP.
As the salary will be decided by an independent panel which hasn't been set up yet, the figure won't be decided until the panel presents its findings to a full council meeting.
Leicester council took nearly a year to set their mayor's salary.
Green Party candidate Joe O'Neill said he would take half of what was offered and said "some of the figures that have been offered today are absolutely scandalous."
Adding colourful variation, Michael Felse of the English Democrats said he would take it all but give 26% to charities in Salford so he could "have a confrontation with George Osborne on how much people can give to charity".
Two candidates would not commit themselves to a figure: Conservative Karen Garrido said the salary had to be important enough for people to do the job but it would never be £100,000.
Independent candidate Pat Ward said she would take "what you think I'm worth".
Labour's candidate Ian Stewart said he wanted nothing to do with the setting of the salary for elected mayor.
Liverpool, which will also be electing their mayor on 3 May, has already set up an independent advisory pay panel which will present its recommendations on 23 May.
Doncaster, an early adopter of the directly-elected mayoral system, pays its mayor Peter Davies £30,000.
He took a wage cut from £70,000 when elected.
As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is paid £143,911, a wage higher than Prime Minister David Cameron.
Sir Peter Soulsby was appointed Leicester's mayor last year on a salary of £56,000, an independent panel later recommended this rise to £100,000.
This was rejected and he is now paid £65,000 - similar to the wage of an MP.
A full list of Salford mayoral candidates can be seen here.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. How much should Salford's directly elected mayor be paid? [Online] (Updated 30th Apr 2012)
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