Council chiefs on ‘the rich list’

LABOUR leader Caitlin Bisknell has pledged to keep executive pay under close scrutiny after four of High Peak Borough Council’s top officers made it into this year’s Town Hall Rich List.

The list, compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance for 2009-10 and 2010-11, gives details of council workers whose total annual remuneration exceeded £100,000.

The four officers work for the High Peak Borough/Staffordshire Moorland council alliance, with the costs shared between the two authorities.

Chief Executive Simon Baker received a remuneration package worth £205,039 in 2009-10 and £202,863 in 2010-11, made up of: Salary (including fees and allowances £151,628; Bonus £16,244; Expenses £8,467; Pension contributions £26,524.

Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Stokes received £138,276 in 2009-10 and £145,927 in 2010-11 made up of: Salary (including fees and allowances) £111,802; Bonuses £11,739; Expenses £2,867; Pension Contributions £19,519.

Mark Trillo, Executive Director and Monitoring Officer received £133,926 in 2009-10 and £139,876 in 2010-11, made up of: Salary (including fees and allowances) £106,802; Bonuses £11,214; Expenses £3,213; Pension Contributions £18,646.

Executive Director Dai Larner received £119,786 in 2009-10 and £121,545 in 2010-11, made up of: Salary (including fees and allowances) £97,401; Allowances £963; Pension Contributions £23,181.

A fifth post, that of Assistant Chief Executive, saw a remuneration package of £117,269 in 2009-10 and £114,470 in 2010-11 – but that post no longer exists.

High Peak Borough Council Leader councillor Caitlin Bisknell said: “The pay of the officers named in the report is correct.

“However, none of them received a salary increase or bonus payment in 2011/12, no pay increase or bonus payments are planned for the current financial year.

“In both financial years these officers have all taken a pay cut.

“The salary grades were agreed by the previous Tory administration and the Labour Group was the only Party to oppose the Chief Executive’s salary grade when he was appointed.

“Given the unprecedented 26 per cent reduction in government funding over the two years to 2012/13, we will, of course, continue to keep executive pay under very close review.”

The Town Hall Rich List reveals that at least 3,097 council employees received total remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2010-11 in the UK; 52 received over £250,000 while 658 received between £150,000 and £249,999.

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be astonished that so many council employees are still getting such a generous deal while everyone else in the public sector is facing a pay freeze.

“The Town Hall Rich List shows that while councils insist cuts can only mean pressure on frontline services, some clearly have cash in the bank when it comes to paying their own senior staff.

“These council executives must ensure they have the moral authority to lead necessary spending cuts, in many cases that will mean taking a pay cut themselves.

“Households have seen their Council Tax bills double over the last decade and deserve better value.”