Over 2,000 council staff earn more than £100,000

New figures from the Taxpayers’ Alliance has revealed that at least 2,314 council employees received total remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2015-16.

The Town Hall Rich List details the full remuneration and many of the names of all local council employees whose remuneration exceeds £100,000.

There were at least 2,314 council employees who received total remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2015-16, with the figures also showing that 539 council workers received more than £150,000.

The data highlights Southwark Council as the local authority with the most employees earning more than £100,000, with 44 of its staff exceeding the figure. In total, there were 68 councils with at least 10 employees who received more than £100,000.

The report also singled out Dave Smith, chief executive of Sunderland Council, as the employee with the largest total remuneration package in the UK, sitting at £625,570 (including pay-off of £185,470 and pension contributions of £331,414).

John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last twenty years and spending has gone through the roof. Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with the number of people on six-figure deals actually going up since last year. There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities."

Claire Kober, chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, commented: “Councils are large, complex organisations with sizeable budgets and responsibility for delivering more than 700 services, including caring for the elderly and disabled and protecting children. It is important that the right people with the right skills and experience are retained to deliver this work.

“Local government is committed to providing value for money to taxpayers. Nationally, incoming chief executives are being paid lower salaries than their predecessors’ and average chief executive salaries continue to decline year-on-year. The pay of senior council staff is set by politically proportionate committees of elected councillors and is open to a high level of scrutiny and democratic accountability as a result.”