A full time CoSec being “sold” by a local authority to its own or other companies at its legal hourly rate could cost the company anything up to £180,000 per annum. A cost-conscious chief executive of the company is unlikely to countenance such a cost when they could directly recruit and employ a CoSec for considerably less. I speak from personal experience of this, having been in the middle of such conflicts many times! For example, on one occasion I was approached by the company to be engaged directly by them as a cheaper alternative to buying the service from the local authority. Other options to reduce the fee structure of the CoSec role could include offering different levels of service. For example, by providing remote filing and basic compliance duties as the lowest level of service and increasing the fees with any additional level of service required by the company. From the company’s perspective it can appear that the local authority has simply foisted its company secretarial services delivery model upon the company without properly consulting it. These issues need to be explored at an early stage between the local authority and the company to strike the right balance, taking into account the different perspectives of each party. The cost of such a service will be detrimental to the loss making company during its initial trading years when it is trying to break even and produce a profit. However, over time this model may prove useful as a tax efficient tool from which the company can benefit and more of the company income can be passed onto the local authority without being subject to corporation tax. Is your CoSec properly remunerated? The local authority CoSec is a demanding role in a complex and unprecedented environment that adds considerable value and efficacy to the new governance arrangements. The demands of the role are comparable to, if not exceeding, the complexities of the NHS and a PLC environment. However, the remuneration on offer from some local authorities tends to be below that of the market for CoSec’s salaries. Just check the salaries on offer for CoSecs being recruited by the NHS or PLCs to get some idea of what I am talking about! If the local authority makes the investment in the CoSec but does not offer a commensurate salary, then it naturally runs the risk over time of losing its “asset” to the private sector or another public body that requires such skills such as university trading arms. However, all the signs are that aocal authorities are moving in the right direction and that feedback including from their own companies has been informing the decision making in respect of what is required of the CoSec role. Steady as she goes! Azhar Ghose ACIS, Solicitor and Chartered Secretary, is a freelance legal writer in his spare time with substantial years of legal experience in the public sector. He has recently been employed as an in-house Solicitor with Npower. This article is independent of his employer and reflects his own opinions. Local Government Lawyer Insight February 2018 LocalGovernmentLawyer 16 The demands of the role are comparable to, if not, exceeding the complexities of the NHS and a PLC environment. However, the remuneration on offer from some local authorities tends to be below that of the market for CoSecs’ salaries.