LGA defends council salaries

The Local Government Association (LGA) has argued that high salaries for council chief executives do not markedly damage the reputation of local councils.

It follows the news that Newham council chief executive Joe Duckworth is being paid a salary of £240,000. The story, covered in The Sunday Telegraph, sparked outrage among some commentators as the east London borough is one of Britain's most deprived areas.

But LGA head of news Richard Stokoe said: 'I don't think it harms reputation. I'm not sure how much reputation we've got anyway. What's more important is we need to do more to show people what we do.

'If people understood what good councils did, what people get paid would be less of an issue. It's a minuscule piece of councils' reputation problems.'

Stokoe added that the LGA believed it was right for chief executives' salaries to be made public, because members of the public are akin to shareholders in companies.

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