In a reply to a Freedom on Information (FoI) request, Isle of Anglesey County Council (IoACC) have finally revealed details of the salary of interim MD, David Bowles:
- As 'Head of Paid Service' - a statutory post which all councils must possess - David Bowles receives a nominal sum of £1 a year
- As 'Interim Managing Director', David Bowles is not paid directly by IoACC but is contracted via Solace Enterprises Ltd - the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives. IoACC therefore pays Solace Enterprises a daily fee of £1,160 (not including VAT) plus accommodation and travel costs for David Bowles' services.
- David Bowles actual pay is not revealed; however as we can be certain that the £1,160 fee also includes a margin for Solace, it is not unreasonable to presume that David Bowles receives £1,000 a day, and Solace takes a 16% commission (£1,000 x 116% = £1,160)
- We are further informed that David Bowles works between 3-4 days each week, which we can average out to mean that he works roughly 160 days a year with holidays, meaning his annual salary is approx. £160K. As the previous MD, Derrick Jones, was paid approx. £130K p.a., this represents an approx. 23% increase.
- the length of contract is revealed to be one year with possibility of extension
It is possible to compare Bowles' salary with other council Chief Executives in North Wales thanks to the latest Taxpayers Alliance Town Hall Rich List, which details remunerations for 2008-09:
- Gwynedd County Council - £107K
- Conwy County Council - £174K
- Denbighshire - 120K (2007-08)
- Flintshire County Council - £146K
- Prime Minister of the UK - £142K
Therefore, depending on how many days per month Bowles works, he is arguably the second highest paid Chief Executive in North Wales after Conwy's. That even the second highest paid council chief executive in North Wales receives some £20K more than the Prime Minister clearly shows the ridiculous wage inflation in the public sector, and the amounts of taxpayer money currently being wasted in county councils.
To Bowles' credit it should be noted that according to the FoI reply, "David J. Bowles expressed a preference for disclosure of the relevant information during the discussions with Solace Enterprises Ltd." However, according to other information also released, some councillors tried to ensure that Bowles salary was not revealed to us taxpayers. According to the minutes of the Appointments Committee held in September 2009 to discuss the appointment of David Bowles, the Chairman of the committee, Cllr Thomas H. Jones (Mechell) "expressed strongly that confidentiality was paramount" and that Bowles' remuneration should not be made public. This is despite both the Corporate Director (Finance) and Cllr Keith Evans (Cadnant) arguing that releasing the salary would be in the public interest. Cllr Thomas Jones should hang his head in shame.
You can see the full FoI reply below:
FoI Bowles Salary Redacted