Officers for three Dorset councils paid more than £2m

More than £2m was paid to the top 16 officers at three Dorset councils last year, the authorities' accounts show.

The money covered the salaries and pension contributions of people working at Bournemouth, Borough of Poole and Dorset County Councils.

Dorset's chief executive David Jenkins received the most, with almost £200,000 in pay, pension and benefits.

Dorset Council said the market for "good officers" was competitive. Unison said the figures were "incredulous".

Redressing the imbalance

Dorset's council leader Angus Campbell told Radio Solent: "To me it is a huge amount of money, to everyone on the street it is a lot of money but we actually do need to have people who can do the job to deliver the services that need to be delivered across the county."

However, Pamela Jeffries, secretary of the Dorset Unison branch, said: "[My members] feel angry and devalued.

"Nationally, local government employers are refusing low-paid staff a pay rise.

"Once upon a time chief officers pay was linked with our pay [until] 2003 and since then the chief officers' pay has carried on up while our [pay] has stayed the same.

"I think it is because of the efficiency savings - job cuts - they are expected to make."

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