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Minister “encouraged” by top-level salary freeze

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Housing minister Grant Shapps says the chief executives at the UK's largest housing associations - including Bromford - have set a positive example by having their salaries frozen.

His comment was prompted by the findings of Inside Housing magazine's annual salary survey, published today (Friday).

This shows that Bromford's Mick Kent is one of 55 chief executives across the largest 100 associations who saw their total salary packages stand still, or shift by just one per cent between 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Mr Shapps, who has criticised housing sector pay in the past, said it was right that chief executives set an example to colleagues and customers.

"I am encouraged that a number of chief executives have done so over the past year," he told Inside Housing.

Bromford executive director Philippa Jones said: "It's worth pointing out that this was the third year in a row when Mick's salary was frozen - and that he is not alone. Our entire team of directors also volunteered to take no salary increases or bonuses for two years running at a time when this was not widespread practice in the sector.

"It is only right, of course, that senior salaries are subject to the most rigorous scrutiny - and we ensure that this is the case at Bromford.

"We question every pound that is spent here - whether it is salaries or deciding whether it's necessary to travel to a meeting- because we know that money comes from our customers.

"We have driven down costs year after year, reinvested that money in homes and services and at the same time continued to deliver sector-leading levels of performance across the business.

"There are big challenges facing the sector and it's at times like this that strong leadership really counts. Under Mick's leadership, Bromford has reacted promptly, made the right decisions and continued to grow - delivering record surpluses for two years running."

Mick's total salary package - that's basic pay plus car allowance -for 2010/2011 was £180,731.

The top salary in the sector was £313,250, up 14 per cent on the previous year.

Read the full story on the Inside Housing website.