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New town manager’s £36,000 salary row
10:13am Thursday 6th September 2012 in Local news
A new town centre manager could command a salary of more than £35,000 a year, it has been revealed this week.
The financial incentive was one of several ideas put forward by Councillor Steve Butler at a meeting of Ilkley Parish Council on Monday, as members discussed proposals for the first ever such post in the town.
Coun Butler, who until recently was also acting chairman of the Ilkley Business Forum, had drawn up some proposals for a new town centre manager mirroring the likes of Shipley, Keighley and Bingley.
Coun Butler said managers could be funded by Bradford Council or the parish council, while businesses in the town could also pay a type of precept, which could be ploughed straight back into Ilkley.
He suggested a manager could be employed for an initial period of a year to take on various roles, including boosting tourism, helping business and assisting the parish council. A possible salary of £36,000 was mooted in discussions.
“It’s held to be an important role elsewhere, and I’m surprised it’s not considered important here,” Coun Butler said.
But the council’s vice-chairman, Coun Mike Gibbons, said he was completely against the idea of paying someone £36,000 a year for a role he did not feel was needed.
He said organisations already work well without any help and not everybody in the town wants to see more tourism.
“I against it for all sorts of reasons,” he said.
“But what I’ve heard so far is employing someone who goes out and tries to find themselves a role.
“To employ someone, on what I believe is quite a reasonable salary, to do this job - I just don’t see it.”
Coun Gordon Perry, said he had managed some neighbourhood managers and town centre managers in the past and said the role needed to be “very focused”.
Coun Butler said he would take people’s views on board and the council is expected to discuss the issue again later this year or early next year.
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