Leeds City Council's highest earner cuts his own salary

The chief executive of Leeds City Council is to take a five per cent pay cut from April reducing his annual salary to just over £176,000.

Mr Tom Riordan joined the council in August last year from Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency, on a salary of between 180,000 and 185,000.

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Within two months of taking up his job, Mr Riordan revealed he was considering a call by Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles for chief executives of councils and other highly-paid officials to consider taking pay cuts.

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Mr Pickles suggested those paid over 200,000-a-year should have their salary chopped by 10 per cent, while those on 150,000 or more should have a five per cent cut.

Mr Riordan has now written to senior councillors informing them of his decision to reduce his salary.

He will not take an increment rise due in April of 3,503 and also cut his salary by 5,779. The overall annual saving to the council will be 11,779 when pension costs are added.

In a confidential letter to the leaders of the council's political groups, Mr Riordan says: "My reasons for doing this are personal and I've come to this view with my family, rather than responding to pressure from anyone."

He acknowledges some people will see his decision as "tokenistic" but adds he is doing what he considers to be the right thing.

Mr Riordan's decision comes as the council faces saving 90m following a cut in government grant.

While other senior staff will not be expected to take a pay cut, their

salaries will be frozen.

A city council spokesman said: "The chief executive's intention is to take a pay cut and the decision is his entirely. He is not responding to pressure from any quarter.

"Mr Riordan thinks it is the right thing to do, given the current financial climate and the need to reduce spending."

The West Indian Carnival, Chapeltown, Leeds.29th August 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

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