Council boss given pay-off of £145,000

A FORMER North Tyneside Council chief executive has picked up a pay-off of almost £145,000 after losing the job he left the borough to take up.

Andrew Kerr, chief executive at North Tyneside Council from 2005 to 2010, was paid £183,000 a year to take on the same role at Wiltshire Council.

The 53-year-old, pictured, was branded a fat cat after taking a £6,000 rise at the same time as 15,000 other staff at the authority were forced to accept a pay freeze and 220 were laid off.

He defend his pay rise in May, saying: “It’s a complex job, which I believe justifies my salary,” but he later paid back the extra cash.

Mr Kerr was made redundant by Wiltshire Council in September after just 18 months in the post.

His pay-off was kept quiet at the time, but a subsequent request made under the 2000 Freedom of Information Act has revealed he pocketed £144,986 – equivalent to almost a year’s salary once extras such as pension contributions are taken into account.

Ricky Rogers, one of only two Labour councillors on the authority, estimates that the final bill for Mr Kerr’s exit will be about £176,000.

Coun Rogers said: “He has got his pension entitlement and legal costs which will push the bill even higher.

“We have paid for everything, including the tissues he blows his nose on.

“It is more money than local government workers who lost their jobs could ever dream of.

“It is a shocking waste of council tax payers’ money.”

Falkirk-born Mr Kerr, a former international athlete, was paid £164,000 a year while at North Tyneside Council.