As Malcolm Clarke, now with a comments facility, puts it:
The new head of children's services for Haringey Council, Peter Lewis, will make £200,000 per annum, nearly twice what the former head of children's services, Sharon Shoesmith, was paid before resigning in the wake of the tragic Baby P coverage.
I find this large wage rather extraordinary. Will the additional £100,000 per annum make a significant difference to performance? It certainly shows that I am correct on taking an interest in hopefully getting involved in council politics at some point! I just do not think that the public will think that this guarantees better performance, even though Mr Lewis should be able to implement some improvements after excellent Ofsted reports and a long experience of education. We certainly hope so.
A challenging position? Yes. A much scrutinised undertaking? Yes. Guaranteed to put you between a rock and a hard place? Yes. But every person entrusted with this position in any council has the same important job. There should have been no pay rise, this extra money should have gone into the care of children and the designing of better systems to ensure that overall the areas care for children who are suffering is improved.
But "It certainly shows that I am correct on taking an interest in hopefully getting involved in council politics at some point"? He'll learn, I'm afraid. Anywhere above Parish or Town level, Councils are run, not by Councillors, but by Officers. And he is in a Ward (same one as I am) where local government reorganisation has taken us from six seats above that level to precisely two, neither of which will be in any meaningful sense up for grabs for at least 10 years. Still, good luck to him, seeing as he links here, to Neil Clark, to Charlie Marks, to Martin Kelly, to Paul Leake and to Tom Miller. He's going to need it.