EXCLUSIVE: Chief executive Pilsbury who fell out with Melton paid �300,000 to quit early

FENLAND Council paid its former chief executive a whopping �300,000 – equivalent to two year’s salary- to take early retirement.

The staggering sum, revealed in the annual accounts, show that in the financial year the council paid Mr Pilsbury �400,616.

The figure is made up of his chief executive’s salary of �71, 252 to his September 1, 2010, departure date, �18,317 benefits in kind (e.g. car allowance) and �12,079 employers’ pension contribution.

Under the heading “compensation for loss of office” the council shows it paid him �299,148.

But despite Mr Pilsbury not leaving before September, the accounts also reveal that from May 25, 2010 it was paying for two chief executives following the promotion of deputy chief executive Sandra Claxton to the post on an “annualised salary of �137,600.”

Rob Bridge, corporate director and finance chief who oversaw the annual accounts, notes that in 2001/11 the number of officers earning over �50,000 was 28- the identical number to the previous year.

Mr Pilsbury said at the time he was sad to be leaving Fenland.

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“I have put a big chunk of my heart and soul into the council and the biggest hope is that it continues to keep its focus on the things that are important to local people,” he said.

Council Leader Alan Melton said his resignation would also mean a significant saving for the council since his successor was not expected to earn anything like the salary package which he had developed over the years.

Cllr Melton said an independent review “ended up with the option of Tim taking early retirement.

“I would stress that this decision was reached jointly and amicably, with no animosity on either side. This is the end of an era for Fenland Council. They say its good to go out on a high, and it doesn’t get much higher than this.”

At the time Mr Pilsbury revealed he had been ‘head hunted’ over the years but had always refused, preferring to stay in Fenland.

“My reason for staying here was that it just doesn’t get much better than this,” he said.