Ashfield District Council finance chief urges u-turn over Christmas bonuses

NMAC10-2465-2''Kirkby Ashfield District Council Offices
NMAC10-2465-2''Kirkby Ashfield District Council Offices

THE finance chief at Ashfield District Council has expressed ‘grave concerns’ at a decision by councillors to give staff £75,000 in Christmas bonuses.

As reported in Chad, an emergency motion was put forward at last week’s full council meeting to give all staff earning under £21,000 a £250 one-off payment.

The move, which will cost £75,000, was criticised by opposition councillors and members of the public.

David Greenwood, deputy chief executive and finance chief, has now written to all councillors saying the money has not been factored in the budget and could lead to further cuts at the cash-strapped authority.

He said: “I must warn you of my grave concerns relating the decision made by Council on Thursday 6th December relating to the payment of a “Christmas Bonus” to a number of the council’s employees.”

Mr Greenwood added how a £1.6m saving has been identified for 2013/14 to balance the budget which has not factored in a £75,000 payment to staff in 2012.

He said: “The decision to bring this “Urgent Motion” to council was taken with no involvement of Officers.

“Officers should have been approached to give information on the possible implications of the motion.”

The matter will be discussed at a meeting next week.