"Cut the pay of council bosses" makes for an arresting and crowd-pleasing headline (Oxford Mail, February 22).

However, the letter that supports the headline is based on a misunderstanding of the changes that have been taking place at Oxford City Council.

Your correspondent writes as though the council is increasing the costs of its senior management.

He refers to the salaries of strategic directors and then says that "on top of that", the council is recruiting further executive director posts.

In fact, the council is in the process of reducing senior management costs.

The management restructure which I am implementing has replaced three strategic director posts with two executive directors.

It has cut the number of the council's senior service manager posts from 21 to 14. This is a reduction in the number of top posts by exactly a third. This reduction in senior management posts is part of a broader efficiency drive at the council.

This year's budget includes more than £3m in efficiency measures which, on top of the £3m in 2006/07, represents about 20 per cent of our gross budget.

We are dedicated to achieving more with less by working more effectively.

I would further wish to point out that senior management salaries are set in the light of objective external advice about current market conditions and how much we need to offer to attract senior managers with proven track records in driving improvement in local authorities.

Oxford City Council aims to improve the quality of its services and to improve value for money for council taxpayers.

I am confident that the management reforms that I am introducing will contribute significantly to achieving these aims.

PETER SLOMAN Chief Executive Oxford City Council