Labour Councillors have written to Westminster Council’s Chief Executive Charlie Parker to urge him to stop the current practice of paying £160,000 a year for Private Health Care for senior staff. In his letter, Councillor Adam Hug, Leader of the Labour Group, says:
As senior staff at Westminster are already well remunerated for the work that they do, in these financially straightened times it is shocking that Westminster is paying large sums of money to provide private medical cover for its senior management. The Daily Mail has quoted a figure for last year of £160,392- is this correct? Given the appalling scale of both planned and future cuts to services and jobs that Westminster is expecting, this unnecessary additional expenditure is absolutely unjustifiable. Can you please tell me what steps are being taken to remove such clauses from existing contracts and to ensure that such provisions are not included in the packages offered to new recruits.
Given the number of jobs that may be being lost, predominantly amongst already low paid or part time staff, in the youth and play services for example, I’m sure you must accept that it is not appropriate for you and other senior colleagues to receive such expensive and unnecessary perks. For reference please see below. I look forward to hearing from you about how the Senior Management Team can play its part in tackling the financial challenges ahead.
Councillor Adam Hug
Leader of the Labour Group
According to the ‘Daily Mail’:
Westminster City Council has spent £409,639 since 2012 on private medical cover for more than 50 senior managers, £160,392 last year alone.
Benefits of its AXA PPP ‘corporate health plan’ include cover for consultations with therapists and complementary medicine. It also provides an ‘NHS cash benefit’ – so if bosses opt to have NHS treatment instead they are paid up to £250 per day. The cover can be extended to their families.
Westminster has announced £588,000 will be taken from children’s centres, play and youth services in the next two years. In June 2013, outgoing chief executive Mike More said cuts were unsustainable.
He said: ‘This level of cuts cannot be made without paying a price in terms of the quality of what we’re able to do.’ That year, his council spent £142,328 on private health cover for 60 officials.Julia Corkey, executive director of communications, was paid £158,000 in 2014/15. Her cover was said to cost £1,377.