Retiring council boss was given £225,000 farewell

Former North Norfolk District Council chief executive Philip Burton.

Former North Norfolk District Council chief executive Philip Burton. - Credit: IAN BURT

A Norfolk chief executive was given a £225,000 golden handshake when he took early retirement, new figures have revealed.

Philip Burton took early retirement from North Norfolk District Council at the age of 57 last year after more than eight years as the authority's chief executive.

But figures compiled by the Taxpayers' Alliance have revealed for the first time what Mr Burton received when he left the authority.

It shows that Mr Burton, who was on a salary of £94,572, was given £225,294 as compensation for loss of office. He also received £6,728 as a cash alternative to having a company car and just over £13,000 in employer pension contributions.

North Norfolk District Council said it had undertaken a radical restructure of its senior staff a year ago, over the winter of 2011/12, reducing the corporate leadership team from five to three, with Mr Burton one of the departures.

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A spokesman for North Norfolk District Council said: 'A significant restructure of senior management at North Norfolk District Council was undertaken in early 2012, reducing the number of senior managers from 18 to 10.

'As part of the restructure programme, the council's former chief executive took early retirement. The cost of the severance payment was recouped with savings of more than £230,000 made within 12 months.'

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Mr Burton 'came home' when he joined the council, returning to the corner of Norfolk where he went to school.

The former Paston Grammar School student began his career in local government in 1977 when he worked as a housing officer in the London borough of Brent. He moved to North Norfolk District Council in September 2003.

Former Norfolk County Council chief executive David White was included in the Taxpayers' Alliance's 20 top-earning council workers in 2011/12. Mr White, who took voluntary redundancy last month, was paid a salary of £205,300 and a total remuneration of £256,900.

Anne Gibson, acting managing director, said: 'Norfolk County Council no longer has a chief executive role. As has been widely reported, the county council recently decided to change its top post and, as a consequence, the post of chief executive was made redundant.

'We are currently recruiting for a new managing director at a reduced salary (proposed £165,000 to £180,000).'

Mr White, who recommended he be made redundant because he did not have the expertise to fill a managing director role, received a redundancy payment of £35,439.

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