More than 2,000 council staff earn more than £100,000 a year, research shows.
The 2012-13 Town Hall Rich List, compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, identified at least 2,181 workers who were paid six-figure salaries – a five per cent drop on the previous year’s figure of 2,295.
But despite the fall, 93 councils had increased the number of staff making more than £100,000 over the same time period, the study found.
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the alliance, said it was good news that the figure was falling but suggested it might only be because many authorities had finished paying “eye-watering” redundancy bills.
He added: “Sadly, too many local authorities are still increasing the number of highly paid staff on their payrolls. It is particularly galling in places where councils are pleading poverty and demanding more and more in council tax. Taxpayers expect their council to be filling potholes, not pay packets.
“Many rank-and-file staff in local councils will be equally appalled. At a time when councils across the country are freezing pay, it appears the money they are saving is being used to line the pockets of town-hall tycoons.”
The list also identified 542 council employees who received remuneration of more than £150,000 in 2012-13. Of these, 34 made more than £250,000 a year. It found Glasgow was the council with most staff earning more than £100,000 – at 32. Its then executive director of social care services, David Crawford, who received £486,303, was the council worker with the largest remuneration package in the UK. This included a redundancy payment.
The largest package in London in 2012-13 went to Paul Martin, the chief executive of Wandsworth Council, who received £274,224.
The Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, said he welcomed the research but added: “While it shows the cost of senior town hall pay is falling, there is still far more that local authorities can do to cut costs through consolidation of back offices, sharing services and greater transparency.
“This Government has taken steps to open up the secret pay deals struck behind closed doors and given elected councillors new powers to veto excessive pay and perks. But councillors now need to use these powers and stand up for local taxpayers.”
Simon Danczuk, who sits on the Communities and Local Government Select committee, which is investigating chief officers’ pay, said: “Senior council officers have got to show restraint.”