SENIOR bosses at the Forest Council have been granted pay rises of around £17,000 per year.

Forest of Dean District Council unanimously voted last Thursday (December 14) to increase the salary of their chief finance officer and monitoring officer to £85,000 and £80,000 per annum, respectively.

The salary increases are backdated to April 1, 2023. The chief financial officer position previous salary was £69,882 while the monitoring officer’s pay was £62,563.

The highest paid post at the authority is the chief executive officer’s Nigel Brinn which is set at a starting salary point of £110,000.

The job evaluation was independently carried out by Ian Morgan of South West Councils based on detailed questionnaires provided by both post holders and signed by the interim head of paid service.

The evaluation consisted of scoring for knowledge, creative thinking, impact and responsibility in a scoring methodology which was referenced against the score for the chief executive officer post.

The appointments committee, which recommended the increase, was also provided with reference pay benchmark data for similar posts from other two-tier councils in the South West.

This included pay scale, population of authority and relative percentage of the chief executive salary.

Councillors voted, without debate, to increase the salaries.

The pay rises come a week after council leaders set out their intention to raise tax by 2.99 per cent next year.

They are also considering a increase in parking charges and service fees.

The average salary in Coleford is around £27,000 while the average for the Forest of Dean district is around £35,000.