Housing Minister urges councils to cease Solace funding

Housing minister Grant Shapps has urged councils to cease funding the Society of Local Authority Chief Executive and Senior Managers (SOLACE).

Shapps accused the representative body and its commercial arms of promoting ever-higher senior salaries.

SOLACE Enterprises, which operates as a 'not for profit' public sector company helping councils make senior level appointments and fill interim management roles, is currently overhauling its business plan.

Former SOLACE general director David Clark leads the refresh.

Chair of SOLACE Enterprises Rich Benton said criticisms of the organisation's role in the recruitment of local government chief executives were inaccurate and misleading.

He stated the body provides independent advice on the appointment process and that no serving chief executive is involved in decisions on appointments or setting salaries.

Shapps said: 'I fail to see the business case for the public funding a body that has acted as a broker for local authority chief executives helping to bump up their pay as they move from council to council."

'There is an urgent need to rein in excessive chief exec pay packets and exercise some restraint, which is why I am calling on all public bodies to cease funding SOLACE."

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