£21k bonus for boss of doomed quango AWM

The boss of a doomed quango received a bonus of £21,000 - on top of a salary higher than the Prime Minister's, it emerged today.

£21k bonus for boss of doomed quango AWM

The boss of a doomed quango received a bonus of £21,000 - on top of a salary higher than the Prime Minister's, it emerged today.

Advantage West Midlands, which spends £300 million a year trying to boost the region's economy, is being scrapped by the coalition government in 2012.

Bosses today said that no more "performance related pay" would go to its senior managers in its final 18 months.

But it can be revealed that chief executive Mick Laverty received salary and car allowance of £145,706 last year, plus a £21,161 bonus.

Prime Minister David Cameron is paid £142,500.

Other senior managers who received large sums included Karen Yeomans, the corporate director for partnerships and communications, who took home an £8,483 bonus on top of a £112,121 salary.

Tim Gebbels, corporate director of strategy and skills, had the same salary but a bonus of £6,362 while Richard Hutchins, deputy chief executive, was given £10,330 as a bonus on top of his £117,280 salary.

Mark Pearce, corporate director for economic regeneration, was paid £110,592 plus a £7,179 bonus.

Bosses said the payouts were made to reward their "consistently strong leadership".

But South Staffordshire Tory MP Gavin Williamson today criticised the pay outs.

"You have to question paying someone substantially more than the Prime Minister."

AWM spokesman Will Harpur said that the corporate directors' targets for 2009/10 included developing and supporting the West Midlands Economic Taskforce, delivering projects such as the i54 business park in Wolverhampton, the Gateway project at New Street station and supporting the board and new chairman in the agency's role as lead regional development agency nationally.

"The senior managers' consistently strong leadership has ensured AWM's position as the top performing RDA in the country.

"There is no performance related pay for corporate directors this year."

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