Brentwood and Essex Council chief’s bonus “was not a pay rise”

Claims that the joint chief executive of Brentwood and Essex County Council has been given a covert pay rise are not true, according to a council spokesman.

Joanna Killian was paid a �6,900 bonus in April, despite recently agreeing to a salary cut of five per cent.

Earlier this week a national newspaper calculated that Essex County Council’s accounts for 2010/11 show that Ms Killian effectively received a pay increase in the last financial year.

Ms Killian’s bonus meant she was paid �289,173 in that period.

Lib Dem Cllr Barry Aspinell, who serves on both Essex and Brentwood councils, slammed the bonus as insensitive.

He said: “I think in the scheme of things she could have afforded to decline the bonus, which is in addition to what she is already paid.

“It’s bad timing and it’s insensitive to our staff when people are being made redundant at the council.”

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Essex County Council announced last month that it will make a further 429 job cuts in order to save money.

But a county council spokesman said that the bonus was for work completed in 2009/10 and should not be counted among 2010/11 figures.

He said: “Her salary covers the role of CEO for Essex and Brentwood – a unique role in local government.

“While Ms Killian did receive a one-off bonus this was for work completed in the year 2009/10, and is a performance-related pay scheme that all middle and senior managers are aligned to. This is not a base pay increase.


“In October 2010 Ms Killian voluntarily accepted a five per cent reduction in her annual salary and has received no base pay increase or bonus since then. To suggest she has had an increase in salary is completely wrong.”

The level of Ms Killian’s pay first made headlines last year when the GMB union revealed her earnings.