When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
New details emerge in Lancashire council executive's pay probe
THE ‘£40,000-a-year’ council executive at the centre of a pay probe was actually paid more than £600,000 for his two years half-time work rather than £507,000, it emerged yesterday.
Last week a report revealed that David McElhinney, the former boss of Lancashire County Council’s One Connect partnership with telecoms giant BT, received two lump sums of £231,709 and £275,888 in June and July without the knowledge of county treasurer Gill Kilpatrick.
At yesterday’s meeting of the authority’s Audit and Governance Committee, she revealed in June 2012 he had also been paid a lump sum of £92,858 for work for the county. He officially worked just two and half days a week for Lancashire and was also receiving pay for a similar partnership between BT and Liverpool City Council, called Liverpool Direct Ltd, for the rest of the week.
Last year’s payment was made through Liverpool Direct and has been recharged to One Connect.
Ms Kilpatrick said how Mr McElhinney was paid the lump sums was the subject of a continuing county inquiry.
She confirmed records his salary as a county employee was ‘£40,000 a year’ plus bonuses for 2.5 days a week under the original agreement in 2011.
Ms Kilpatrick said government rules on disclosing executives’ salary left her no choice but to reveal them publicly.
Former county Tory leader Geoff Driver, the man behind the One Connect deal to save £400 million over 10 years, disputed the need to reveal the payments.
He questioned the ‘motives behind their ‘really disappointing’ publication as the whole sum would be paid by One Connect. The county’s external auditor Karen Murray, of accountants’ Grant Thornton, said it would be recharged to the partnership but added she was ‘satisfied’ disclosure was correct.
Ms Kilpatrick said although BT underwrote One Connect, the majority of its income came from the county council as a customer.
She said it was on target to achieve the savings, adding in 2011/2012 BT paid £1.8 million into the partnership and last year was paid £2 million in income from it County Liberal Democrat leader Bill Winlow said the key questions for the inquiry were how was Mr McElhinney paid so much, so late and in a such an unusual manner.
Comments are closed on this article.