Wanna work for Mayor James Palmer? Directors on £128k, principal officers up to £55k and there’s even a £35k political assistant (but that job’s already gone)

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:00 24 July 2017

Councillor James Palmer

Councillor James Palmer


Salaries of senior staff to be recruited to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority headed by Mayor James Palmer will be unveiled this week.

Salaries being discussed for appointment to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined AuthoritySalaries being discussed for appointment to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

The cost is substantially higher than envisaged.

On top of the £150,000 a year salary agreed for chief executive Martin Whitely, the authority is expected to rubber stamp recruiting three directors on salaries up to £128,000 a year.

“It is proposed that three directors are established to lead the following priority programmes, housing, skills and transport and infrastructure,” says a report to the authority.

The housing director will take responsibility for commissioning the programmes that will deliver 100,000 new homes, of which approximately 40,000 will be affordable.

Structure of how the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority will operateStructure of how the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority will operate

The director will also be expected to develop and implement initiatives “that intervene in the housing system to either accelerate delivery and/or meet specific housing requirements such as housing that enables people to live independently”.

Job specification for the skills director calls for the successful applicant to help design and implement a new system skills system and “securing additional powers and resources from central government; joining up a fragmented local delivery model; providing the combined authority with assurance about the investment made in the University of Peterborough; and developing a skills strategy for the area”.

The transport director will oversee development of a future local transport plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The role talks of “management of a pipeline of strategic transport and infrastructure programmes and overseeing the implementation of a world class public transport scheme, including ambitious plans for Cambridge and Peterborough cities”.

Last month the authority agreed other senior appointments including that of legal counsel (monitoring officer) to provide legal advice on handling an expected £1bn investment programme.

And a finance and commercial director role was agreed to handle the authority’s ‘fiscal strategy’ and to help secure investment and development investment decisions.

Other appointments being considered include that of a communications manager (up to £50,000 a year) and a newly created political assistant (£35,000 a year) for the mayor James Palmer (that role is thought to have been offered to Tom Hunt, who resigned as an East Cambs councillor last week to take up a ‘politically restricted’ role with the mayor.

Principal officer roles in economic and spatial planning up to £55,000 a year, programme managers up to £67,000 a year down to PAs’ up to £25,000 a year are also being requested.

The report says “the mayor’s office is subject to a separate budget consideration from the combined authority.

“The mayor has considered the requirements of his office in conjunction with the chief executive and determined that there should be a small office of support made up of two posts.”

These will be his political assistant and a private secretary (up to £30,000 a year).

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