Pay Quirk Boosts Chief Executive Salary Even Further

Council Chief Executive, Philip Hygate

It has been revealed that our Council’s Chief Executive will receive a further boost to his salary.

In addition to the £4,500 increase in basic pay granted in April, Isles of Scilly Councillors also agreed in that meeting that Philip Hygate will receive a further top-up of almost £2,000 which will be back-dated to April.

Both increases were voted through by a narrow margin of 5 votes to 4 on an evening when attendance was reduced through bad weather.

The increase has come about thanks to a pay quirk involving Scilly’s Chief Fire Officer Steve Webster and has only just come to light since the vote on Chief Officer’s pay was held in secret session.

An independent job evaluation study revealed that Fire Chiefs on the mainland, for areas with a population of anything up to 500,000, are entitled to a minimum of £94,000 per annum.

Mr Webster works one day a week for the Authority and his pay rise would have made that post the best paid in the Council on a pro rata basis.

Salaries expert, Russell Symonds of S.W. Councils told members that since he was managed by Philip, then Philip’s salary should be adjusted upwards and that means he’ll receive a salary of £96,000 for the days when the Chief Fire Officer is working here, falling back to £87,000 per annum for the rest of the week.

The quirk came to light during the same job evaluation study into Chief Officer remuneration on Scilly which saw the £4,500 Market Forces Supplements incorporated into basic pay for the half-dozen top Council jobs, including Mr Hygate’s.

And it’s caught the attention of the public sector spending watchdog, The Taxpayers’ Alliance.

They’ve published details of the 22% pay rise Philip has been awarded over the last two years in an article on their website which describes him as “trousering generous sums of taxpayers’ money.”

The Chief Exec’s basic salary now comes to £88,800 per annum from £73,000 two years ago. His total package, including pension, will now be in the region of £110,000.

Emma Boon of The Taxpayers’ Alliance says taxpayers are feeling the squeeze and that’s why they’ve singled out Philip Hygate’s pay package.

She says they’re seeing these types of pay rises across the country and now, more than ever, taxpayers want to see people earning their rewards.

They flagged up Philip Hygate’s pay because they feel his package is too much for such a small community to bear

She said the Isles of Scilly can be overlooked because they’re so small, or these types of matters are often made into ‘funny stories’, but she says there are some serious and worrying elements here, especially for the people here who pay their taxes.

Emma says many taxpayers are feeling the squeeze at the moment, often with their salaries frozen. She said it’s important to point out those working in the public sector who aren’t thinking about those taxpayers they’re serving. She said they shouldn’t be trying to “squeeze every last penny” out of them.

No pay rise can be offered without Councillors signing it off and this increase was democratically voted in.

Emma feels Councillors should be open about how they voted, if asked and not make these types of decisions behind closed doors. She said people can make their voice heard through their vote.



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