This site is English – get used to it…

Because they are worth it

Brunswick Park - Wednesbury June 2014

Welcome to another blog post from the Black Country in the heart of England. I have readers all over the world and many of them are bloggers themselves. So I should  explain that the Black Country is just north of Birmingham (England).

It’s part of the West Midlands and consists of Metropolitan boroughs that were ‘created’ by  local government reorganisation in the 1970’s, centralising  power in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and one they made up, Sandwell. This allowed for Chief executives rather than town clerks to run these huge administrative behemoths. These chief executives are usually housed in fancy civic centres, rather than town halls and given 6 figure salaries and an army of staff to actually do the work. This fetish for centralisation hasn’t just affected local government.


Health services too get merged into huge behemoths, the West Midland Ambulance service is a combined ambulance service that merged Staffordshire, Shropshire, the West Midlands, Hereford, Worcestershire, Coventry and Warwickshire. The chief executive Anthony Marsh has just had a pay rise, sorry an uplift; because he not only runs the West Midland ambulance service a couple of days a week, he also spends three days running the East of England Ambulance service. For this he earns £232,000 (and change) a year.

Claire Brown, spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “On average, Dr Marsh works three days a week in the East of England and two days a week in the West Midlands.

“He fits his national role as the chairman of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), around those commitments.

“For 2014-15, Dr Marsh’s total salary for work in both Trusts is £232,226.42, £50,000 of which is an uplift due to his additional duties in the East of England; clearly considerably less than the appointment of a substantive chief executive.”

Don’t let the Dr Marsh title fool you, that was the University of Wolverhampton sucking up; they gave him an ‘honorary’ doctorate. He actually has an MBA and some qualification in strategic leadership.  He is worth this huge salary of course, he has the education and the experience. He probably doesn’t know the first thing about driving an ambulance at speed and there is no real need to do a first aid course when all you do is sit in office all day and attend board meetings. Could an ambulance man or women who actually has experience be sent to university to gain similar qualifications or even a genuine doctorate to take over one of Mr Marsh’s roles? They probably could. Many of them speak with regional accents, such at the Black Country accent. One couldn’t have that at board level could one?


Celebrities get paid too much too, but that is largely the fault of the adoring fans. If people weren’t willing to pay obscene amounts of money for season tickets for soccer matches, footballers wouldn’t earn so much. It’s also the media that makes soccer players and pop stars super rich. There has to be an incentive, but do we have to pander to their greed and every whim? Some of the celebrities earn a million a year or more. Was Paxman worth a million a year? He was only a television presenter. I think the woman who replaced him must feel like she has won the lottery. Programmes on the BBC stink. A 13 year old could make better programmes. According to Jeremy Paxman 13 year olds do make Newsnight…

Back in the real world…

Back in the real world people earn £6.31 an hour and pay £12.12 a month for their TV licence to help pay the likes of Paxman and Clarkson. I just worked out that someone on minimum wage has to work nearly 2 hours to pay their monthly TV licence and the likes of Paxman and the woman who runs the national lottery on a million a year have to work less than a minute to earn enough to pay theirs.  Is that fair? I was told yesterday that bin men are expected to walk 15 miles each day. Jeremy Clarkson appears to struggle to walk across the studio.

I’ve had two weather forecasts for the Black Country today. My smart phone said to expect rain and the weather email said just lots of cloud. It is cloudy, but sunny, so I might be able to have an afternoon out taking photos. I won’t go far. I live in the Black Country. I’m not like those people who live in Warwickshire and travel into the Black Country just to work. I’d be quite happy to see the M5 closed to stop them all coming here, then maybe there would be jobs for Black Country folk that pay a quarter of a million a year.

What do you think? Do you favour a higher minimum wage and a maximum wage for the desk jockeys and celebrities? Please share you thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.

I might change my name to Jeremy and apply for a job at the BBC. My name is Jeremy, I like fast cars and I’m 13 years old…


One response

  1. Pingback: The Review: Darlaston Culture | Mike10613's Blog

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