The six-figure sums paid to council bosses last year


The  sums paid to council bosses has been revealed by the Taxpayers’ Alliance ‘Town Hall Rich List’ for 2019/20.

The pressure group have called officer pay of more than £100,000 into question, demanding to know whether rate payers are getting value for money at a time when so many of our local services are in disarray due to coronavirus.

Council tax has risen at authorities across the nation, while services have been slashed due to reduced funding from the Government.

Listed below is a breakdown of council officers at local authorities across our patch who have been paid more than £100,000, including expenses, bonuses, pensions contributions and in some cases, compensation.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council officer pay for 2019/20 of more than £100,000:

  • Former city director: Paid £167,071, plus expenses of £485 and a pension contribution of £38,912, totalling £206,468 for their final year in post
  • Director – Housing & Customer Services: Paid £129,115 including expenses plus a £30,324 pension contribution, giving a total of £159,439
  • Director – Place, Growth & Prosperity: Paid £124,931 including expenses, plus a pension payment of £29,344, totalling £154,275
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £137,500
  • Stoke-on-Trent Director – Children & Family Services: Paid £108,913, including expenses, plus a pension contribution of £25,537, totalling £134,450
  • Director – Social Care, Health Integration & Wellbeing: Paid £108,011 including expenses, plus a pension payment of £24,231, totalling £132,242
  • Assistant Director – Finance (& Section 151 Officer): Paid £101,581 including including expenses, plus a pension contribution of £23,865, totalling £125,446
  • Undisclosed role: Paid£122,500
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £117,500

A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman said: “Chief officers are responsible for administering a budget of more than £618m, managing a workforce of 5,000 people and delivering more than 700 services for 255,000 residents and businesses, right across Stoke-on-Trent.

“Over very recent years, senior management costs have reduced by around £2m each year through a restructuring of the team.

“Like any organisation, we need to attract and retain the very best staff, and we expect the remuneration paid to our significantly reduced senior management team – which has reduced further this year – to be repaid many times over in terms of the contribution they make to the council and city.

Stoke Civic Centre and the A500.

“As a council, we are currently responding quickly and responsibly to support residents and businesses during the biggest health emergency in a generation through the coronavirus, and to keep our city running at this most testing of times.

“We not only continue to work to meet the pressures of rising demand for social care and significant, sustained reductions in our running costs but also work to continue to grow the economy, create better jobs and wages, support communities and help people lead healthier lives.

“We continue to deliver services that support the city, with the lowest council tax in the region.”

Labour group leader Mohammed Pervez said: “Following 10 years of Government austerity and with many councils shrinking in size as well as some of the lowest paid staff receiving pay cuts, there should be little sympathy for these high salaries for chief executives and directors.

“There is also significant variation between local authorities in terms of how much they pay their senior management. Each local authority appears to have its own view about salary and the ability to attract top class individuals.

“A nationwide collaboration, with possible Government intervention, is needed to ensure that there is greater consistency and control of such high salaries.

“This is now more important than ever before following the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the national economy.”

Newcastle Borough Council officer pay for 2019/20 of more than £100,000:

Newcastle Borough Council's new HQ
Newcastle Borough Council’s HQ

  • Executive Director – Operational Services: Paid £90,390, plus a pension payment of £15,243, totalling £105,633
  • Executive Director – Resources & Support Services: Paid £89,143, plus pension contribution of £15,243, totalling £104,386

Staffordshire County Council officer pay for 2019/20 of more than £100,000:

  • Section 151 Officer, Director of Finance & Resources: Paid a flat rate of £135,149, plus £10,220 in expenses and £187,176 compensation, plus £23,175 – totalling £355,720.
  • Chief Executive: Paid £188,375 plus a £15,000 bonus, totalling £203,375
  • Director of Families and Communities: Paid £139,427, plus £9,963 in expenses, plus a £32,904 pension contribution, totalling £182,294
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £167,500
  • Director of Health and Care: Paid £153,875, plus £11,262 in expenses, totalling £165,137
  • Director of Economy, Infrastructure and Skills: Paid £114,644 plus £7,777 in expenses, plus a £10,709 bonus and a £30,102 pension contribution, giving a total pay of £163,232
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £137,500
  • Director of Strategy, Governance and Change: Paid £93,645, plus £6,105 in expenses and a £22,100 pension payment, giving a total pay of £121,850
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £112,500
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £112,500
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £112,500
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £107,500
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £102,500

Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “The county council is at the forefront of managing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our residents, on our businesses and on our economy,

“Our priority is to help keep 860,000 people of Staffordshire safe, protect the most vulnerable in our communities and ease the crippling pressures our NHS and social care services are facing.

Leader of Staffordshire County Council Philip Atkins
Leader of Staffordshire County Council Philip Atkins

“In recent years we reduced our own running costs and slimmed down our senior leadership team, however like any organisation we do need to attract and retain the very best staff.

“And I would expect the remuneration paid to our senior managers to be repaid many times over in terms of the contribution they will make to this council and to this county not just every day, but especially at critical times like these.”

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Stafford Borough Council officer pay for 2019/20 of more than £100,000:

  • Chief Executive: Paid £118,278, with a pension contribution of £19,871, totalling £138,149

The Leader of Stafford Borough Council, Patrick Farrington, said: “The Government has said local authorities will be on the frontline to ensure food, provision, medicines get to vulnerable, isolated people in our communities.

“At the same time we are continuing to provide essential services and support to around 60,000 households and thousands of businesses in our borough.

“This crisis has demonstrated very clearly the importance of having a chief executive with great leadership skills, and the ability to remain calm under considerable pressure, in a rapidly changing situation.

Responding to the raise in council tax issue, Councillor Farrington added: “In the last decade we have frozen council tax or kept any increase below the rate of inflation. And on one occasion we actually reduced the borough council portion of the bill.”

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (and High Peak) officer pay for 2019/20 of more than £100,000:

  • Head of Operational Services: Paid £267,978 including pension contribution – (Joint employee with Staffordshire Moorlands council. Remuneration reflects charge to both High Peak & Staffordshire Moorlands councils. Net charge to SMDC £107,191)
  • Chief Executive Officer: Paid £164,166, plus £13,749 in expenses and a £27,252 pension contribution, totalling £205,167 – (Joint employee with Staffordshire Moorlands council. Remuneration reflects charge to both High Peak & Staffordshire Moorlands councils)
  • Director & Chief Financial Officer: Paid £126,357, plus £8,910 in expenses and a pension payment of £20,975, giving a total pay of£156,242 – (Joint employee with Staffordshire Moorlands council. Remuneration reflects charge to both High Peak & Staffordshire Moorlands councils)
  • Executive Director & Monitoring Officer: Paid £120,353 plus £2,896 in expenses and a £19,979 pension payment, totalling £143,228 – (Joint employee with Staffordshire Moorlands council. Remuneration reflects charge to both High Peak & Staffordshire Moorlands councils)

A Staffordshire Moorlands District Council spokesman said: “For the last 12 years Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has been sharing resources, including our staff, costs and efficiencies, with High Peak Borough Council through the Strategic Alliance.

“Since that time we’ve achieved savings for council tax payers of over £6m through a programme of service transformation, joint procurement and other efficiencies.

“We’ve delivered these savings whilst protecting the services our communities rely on and keeping any increases in council tax to a minimum – the increase this year for Band D payments equates to 5p per week.

“The Alliance continues to seek and implement opportunities to consolidate service delivery and deliver savings.

“This requires strong and effective leadership from senior managers which is more invaluable than ever during the current coronavirus emergency as we continue to provide ‘business as usual’ services alongside the huge effort to support our residents and businesses through this situation.”

Cheshire East officer pay for 2019/20 of more than £100,000:

Cheshire East Council HQ
Cheshire East Council HQ
  • Acting Chief Executive: Paid £167,850including expenses and £53,885 in pension payments, giving a total pay of £221,735
  • Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Place: Paid £140,090 plus a £45,100 pensions payment, giving a total pay of £185,190
  • Chief Operating Officer: Paid £140,063 plus £45,100 in pensions pay, giving a total pay of £185,163
  • Acting Executive Director of People: Paid £129,928 plus a pensions payment of £41,782, giving a total pay of £171,710
  • Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services: Paid £126,222
  • Acting Director of Legal Services and Interim Monitoring Officer: Paid £93,017 plus £29,951 in pensions contributions, giving a total pay of £122,968
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £117,500
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £112,500
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £112,500
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £112,500
  • Director of Public Health: Paid £95,845 plus £13,783 in pensions contributions, giving a total pay of £109,628
  • Undisclosed role: Paid £107,500
  • Head of Finance and Performance: Paid £80,428 plus £25,878 in pensions contributions, giving a total pay of £106,306

What the Taxpayer’s Alliance say:

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The coronavirus crisis means that frontline council services are more crucial than ever, but at the same time household budgets face an enormous squeeze from crushing council tax rises.

“There are plenty of talented people in local authorities who are focused on delivering more for less, but that is needed across the board.

“The country needs every council to cut out waste and prioritise key services without resorting to punishing tax hikes on their residents.

“These figures should shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, but also allow taxpayers to hold to account those who aren’t delivering value for money at this critical time.”

All councils were contacted for comment.





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