2,667 council staff paid over £100,000 in 2018-19, report shows

More than 2,600 council employees received over £100,000 in pay between 2018 and 2019, a report has revealed.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance found that 2,667 council staff pocketed six-figure sums, the highest number since 2013-2014, with 667 employees earning more than £150,000.

It comes as residents in every council across the UK will face increased taxes this month.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance’s 13th annual Town Hall Rich List shows that 226 more employees received total remuneration in excess of £100,000 in comparison to the previous year and 32 local authority workers earned over £250,000.

The highest-paid local council employee in the UK, North Lanarkshire’s chief officer for health and social care, received £615,550.

Essex County Council had the most employees receiving more than £100,000, with 35 earning over this amount, while in Glasgow 12 workers earned over £150,000.

Also featuring high up the list were Birmingham’s chief operating officer for strategic services who pocketed £398,396, Sefton Council’s head of highways and public protection, who received £372,840, and Oxfordshire County Council’s chief executive, who earned £357,156.

The managing director of Edinburgh City Council received the largest bonus of £47,817 and Glasgow Council’s Peter Duthie, chief executive of Scottish Event Campus Ltd, topped the expenses and benefits table, receiving £19,170.

The single largest compensation payout for loss of office was made in Wales, where Rhondda Cynon Taf’s departing director of regeneration and planning was given £238,000.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance said accountability still matters during the coronavirus crisis and taxpayers must know that they are getting value for money.

It has called for council tax to be frozen and local authority spending to instead be focused on frontline health and social care services.

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.”

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “Local authorities are responsible for their own financial decisions, including staff pay, and ensuring taxpayers get good value for money.

“The Government has taken steps to increase the transparency and accountability of local decisions on pay.”

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