Ex-Somerset County Council boss in £340k leaving deal

image captionAlan Jones retired in July 2009

Somerset County Council spent more than £340,000 replacing its outgoing chief executive, it has been revealed.

Alan Jones retired in July 2009 after the Conservatives gained control from the Liberal Democrats.

The exact amount of his package has now been revealed, which included £113,500 for early retirement and £40,500 in lieu of working his notice.

Mr Jones told BBC Somerset he felt he was entitled to the amount.

When Mr Jones announced his retirement it was confirmed that he would get a £40,000 lump sum on top of his pension.

He told BBC Somerset at the time that was a standard amount he was entitled to.

Details of the exact amount of the compensation package have been released in the past few days under new rules which require local authorities to disclose large expenditure.

'Tough time'

Somerset County Council had to reimburse the local government pension fund with £176,000, which bought Mr Jones a pension annuity.

Mr Jones also received £11,000 for other costs including untaken leave.

A council spokesman said he was not offered an enhanced pension.

Mr Jones, who is now managing director of a company in Somerset, told the BBC he had not been greedy and that the person negotiating on his behalf had agreed a compensation package that he felt he was entitled to.

He said that during his six years in the post, he had led the council from a two star authority rated 'fair', to a four star and 'improving strongly' rating.

Ken Maddock, leader of Somerset County Council, said: "It was extremely important to us that we had the right person in the job to lead the county council through what we correctly predicted would be a very tough time.

"We weighed up Alan's compensation package carefully and stand by our decision that it was the right thing to do.

"With the vision and drive of our new chief executive, the council is now on target to make £37m of savings for the next year, and to balance its books."

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