Northampton

Northamptonshire County Council chief got £95k pay-off

Paul Blantern
Image caption Paul Blantern left his role in October after 10 years with Northamptonshire County Council

The former chief executive of a council which must make £34m in cuts received a £95,000 pay-off after resigning.

Paul Blantern quit his role at Northamptonshire County Council in October this year.

A freedom of information request from the BBC found the payment to Dr Blantern was made in addition to his contracted salary and terms.

"In order to secure a quick transition in the interests of the council, a payment was agreed," a statement read.

Dr Blantern had held his position at the council for 10 years before leaving the Conservative-controlled authority on 13 October.

'Slap in the face'

Bob Scott, leader of the opposition Labour group, said: "We were initially told there was no pay-off, so we're not happy.

"If it had been an ordinary member of staff who'd resigned, there would have been no pay-off, so why should he be any different?

"At a time of cuts, it's a slap in the face for the people of Northamptonshire."

A Local Government Association Report published after he left the role was highly critical of the council's financial management.

In November, Blantern's interim successor Damon Lawrenson wrote the authority did not have "enough money to cope" with the costs and demands for services, with the council's 3,000 employees told to take a day's unpaid leave as part of savings.

Penny Smith, Unison branch secretary at the council, said: "I think it is an insult when staff are being asked to take unpaid leave to save [the council] £300,000 and he gets a third of that. It's disgusting.

"If you work for an oil company that's not a lot of money. He doesn't; he works for a struggling authority."

The BBC has contacted the ruling Conservative group for a comment.

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