War of words over Hartlepool council’s six-figure salaries

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

A war of words has broken out over pay levels at Hartlepool Borough Council.

Campaign group The TaxPayers’ Alliance says the council had six officers earning more than £100,000 in the financial year 2013-14 – but the council says the figure is half that.

These figures are wrong – there were only three Hartlepool Council posts in 2013/14 which would have had a total annual remuneration (including pension contributions) of £100,000 or more - the Chief Executive, the Director of Regeneration & Neighbourhoods and the Director of Child & Adult Services.

Council spokesman

The Taxpayers’ Alliance describes its Town Hall Rich List as ‘the go-to guide for local government executive pay deals.’

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “Local authorities that are providing more for less and delivering council tax cuts clearly have talented people at the helm, but taxpayers living in poorly performing areas will be furious at the scale of some of these massive pay awards.

“We all deserve to know how our money is being spent, and taxpayers should have the right to decide if they are getting value for their money from public servants.”

But a council spokesman said: “These figures are wrong – there were only three Hartlepool council posts in 2013/14 which would have had a total annual remuneration (including pension contributions) of £100,000 or more - the chief executive, the director of regeneration & neighbourhoods and the director of child & adult services.

“Only two of those – the chief executive and the director of regeneration & neighbourhoods – did because the director of child & adult services was not fully in post for the whole year.

“The remuneration for those positions reflected wide-ranging responsibilities, including managing multi-million pound budgets. This figure of three should, therefore, place Hartlepool among the lowest in the country in the Taxpayers’ Alliance’s table.

“Over the last few years the council has reduced senior management by a third and cut departments from five to three, resulting in several million pounds of savings which have helped to protect frontline services in the wake of the unprecedented Government cuts.

“In addition, salaries for the chief executive and two director posts were reduced in 2013/14, providing a full year saving in 2013/14 of £72,000.”