News

New council director earns 1,000 per day

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

THE new interim Director of Regulatory and Technical Services at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is earning upwards of 1,000 per day, the Newry Democrat can reveal.

Englishman Mr Adam Wilkinson, who will replace the retiring Canice O'Rourke for a period of six months until a permanent replacement can be found, is working with the council on a three day a week basis.

The experienced Mr Wilkinson has worked in similar roles before, and has received a number of very substantial pay-outs after leaving jobs after short periods of time.

In 2010, he received 365,000 when he left Kent County Council, where he had worked as Director of Environment and Regeneration.

He had spent just 12 months in that role, which was salaried at 70,000 a year. The sum received amounted to almost 1,000 for every day he worked there.

Speaking at that time, Mr Wilkinson cited the difficulties he experienced with the commute from Maidstone to West Yorkshire where his family and daughters were living.

After leaving Kent County Council, Mr Wilkinson set up his own consultancy firm, whose services were used by City of York Council, where he took on the role of interim Director of Neighbourhoods.

Mr Wilkinson then took up a post as Chief Executive with Derby County Council, and although he was due to be in that job until this year, he left in early 2015 with 100,000 in compensation and three months pay.

Furthermore, there was anger from the Tax Payers Alliance when it was revealed that he was being paid 1,000 a day for working a three-day week during his nine-month contract as the interim head of paid service for the North East Combined Authority in 2015.

With this background, The Newry Democrat had the following queries for the council.

Can the council confirm how much Mr Wilkinson is being paid?

Are there any further payments being made to any agency that includes his accommodation and travel (and who that agency is)?

Will he be receiving a 'golden handshake' when he leaves?

As it appears he is being paid more than Mr O'Rourke for fewer hours, does his remit involve anything else above and beyond the role of Director of Regulatory and Technical services?

Why is he being appointed on a short-term contract rather than appointing a permanent officer to the role?

The Democrat received the following response from the council:

"Mr Adam Wilkinson has joined Newry, Mourne and Down District Council as an interim Director of Regulatory and Technical Services, for six months.

"Given the critical nature of the services within the Regulatory and Technical Services Directorate, the Council has agreed to engage a Director to fulfil the designated role on an interim basis; pending open recruitment for the appointment.

"Mr Wilkinson will work within Newry, Mourne and Down District Council three days per week, Tuesday - Thursday inclusive. The chargeable day rate for this interim position will be made up of two component parts; namely 834 + VAT labour rate per day, plus daily receipted expenses - up to a maximum of 165 per day. There will be no further payments, for example - severance, at the end of this interim arrangement.

The Council's Statement of Accounts for 2017/2018 will be published in September 2018 and will include all financial statements and disclosures as required by law."

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