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Medway Council's chief exec Neil Davies to write to Jeremy Hunt, following Medway Maritime Hospital pay row over Christopher Langley's salary

By Lizzie Massey

Medway Council’s chief executive is to write to the health secretary following the row over hospital executive pay.

There was cross-party consensus at Thursday’s council meeting that the salaries given to the people running the ailing hospital, highlighted by Jeremy Hunt last week as causing continuing concern, were excessive.

Councillors agreed that “no public servant should be paid more than the prime minister” and have ordered Neil Davies to take up the matter with Mr Hunt.

Council chief Neil Davies
Council chief Neil Davies

However, their Mr Davies himself earns far more than David Cameron - £184,000 a year compared to the PM's salary of £142,500.

Cllr Teresa Murray (Lab) proposed a motion attacking the six-figure pay packets of Medway NHS Foundation Trust managers.

It was revealed that chairman Mr Langley is paid £14,400 per month, to work as little as one day a week, plus 10% to cover expenses while Mr Beverley, the then interim chief executive was on nearly £1,500 a day.

The combined ministerial and parliamentary salary of the prime minister is £142,500 and Cllr Murray said: “The prime minister said he doesn’t think any public servant should be paid more than him, and that would do fine for me.”

The motion was unanimously supported and council leader Cllr Rodney Chambers (Con) said “the pay that has been agreed is an absolute disgrace” and “a scandal”.

Christopher Langley, interim chairman of Medway NHS Foundation Trust
Christopher Langley, interim chairman of Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Councillors agreed to get Mr Davies to write to the health secretary asking if he believes the “taxpayers of Medway are getting good value for their £200,000” in regard to Mr Langley?

In a June report from the Royal College of Nursing it was revealed that over the last two years most NHS front line staff have only seen raises of 1.6%, while executives’ pay has gone up by 15%.

On the question of Mr Davies’ pay, which was £184,000 including pension contributions last year, a spokesman said: “Medway has around 6,000 staff and provides more than 140 vital services to around 270,000 residents.

“Therefore, the council realises that in order to recruit and retain a chief executive with the skills and experience required for such a complex and challenging role you need to pay the market rate.”

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