As an entrepreneur and local businessperson, I would like to agree with Matthew Sinclair of the Tax Payers Alliance, stated in the Wakefield Express on the May 17, at what a great job the leaders of our council and local authority are doing.
As a taxpayer, I recognise the impact of poor management, but I must add that I believe the management at Wakefield Council are doing a sterling job.
Not withstanding the pressure to cut costs they continue to focus on front line services, there is a tremendous long term focus on infrastructure to support the growth of the city and Five Towns as well as a real entrepreneurial spirit, which is leading to a strong partnership between the private sector and local authority.
Over the past five years, the city has seen a new gallery, with record numbers of visitors, a new shopping centre, a new library and museum and a new swimming baths and fitness facilities.
With work currently underway to provide upgrades to the two railway stations, this is not a group of town hall tycoons leading the region, but a “group of savvy professional operators”, led by a highly regarded management team as well as strong leader of the council.
When people complain about the cost of salaries, there are plenty of examples across the country where taxpayers’ monies have been wasted, I don’t believe this is case in Wakefield.
Joanne Rooney leads a team with over 7,500 employees, her remuneration should never be questioned, nor that of her management.
In the private sector a senior executive or chief executive officer would be paid 10 times this amount, with salaries and bonuses. The boss of Carphone Warehouse, Roger Taylor, earned £440,000, he runs a business with 4,055 staff, just more than half the number Ms Rooney manages, but Roger Taylor was awarded £34m in shares as well as his basic salary.
In essence, council executives, especially those that perform, could demand much greater salaries from the private sector.
I believe the team at Wakefield represent extremely good value for money, one thing is clear, because of this team of individuals, Wakefield is open for business.