Council chief’s £213k remuneration package

Simon Baker, chief executive of High Peak Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District council. Photo contributed.
Simon Baker, chief executive of High Peak Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District council. Photo contributed.

High Peak Borough Council‘s (HPBC) Chief Executive received a remuneration package of £213,155 in 2011/12, figures released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance show.

Simon Baker received a salary of £157,775 and the remuneration package also included employer pension contributions of £26,191, the Town Hall Rich List shows. In 2009-10, he received £205,039 and in 2010-11, the figure was £202,863.

High Peak Borough Council have paid £105,149 of the package with the rest coming from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, with whom the authority has formed an alliance.

In addition, the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer received £143,568 while the Executive Director and Monitoring Officer received £137,718.

The Head of Property’s remuneration package was £116,724. The cost of these three packages is also split between the two authorities under the alliance.

According to the figures, the High Peak/Staffordshire Moorlands Assistant Chief Executive Officer received a remuneration package worth £295,405 - made up of £105,958 salary, £434 other payments and employer pension contributions of £189,013.

The Human Resource Manager meanwhile, received a package worth £210,231 - salary of £97,175, other payments of £963 and employer pension contributions of £112,093.

Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is good news that the number of senior council staff making more than £100,000 a year is finally falling, although that may only be because many authorities have finished paying eye-watering redundancy bills.

“Sadly, too many local authorities are still increasing the number of highly paid staff on their payroll, some of whom are given hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation just to move from one public sector job to another.

“Residents won’t be impressed if their council pleads poverty when it is demanding more and more council tax, only then to spend it creating more town hall tycoons.”

Cllr Caitlin Bisknell, Leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: “When I speak to people they tell me that what’s important to them is that their council provides them with good quality services, that it is able to attract new jobs and business to the area, and that it does so at minimal cost to them.

“This council has been successful on all those counts. Council tax has been frozen for the last three years and, through excellent management, we have delivered an efficiency strategy which has cut the number of managers and their salaries without impacting at all on services.

“What people need to remember when they hear figures like this quoted is that all of these costs are split with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council. This alliance is saving both councils over £4 million per year.

“The cost to the average household in High Peak for all the services provided by the borough council is £2.34 per week which remains real value for money.”