Staffing cuts save £4.5m

A COUNCIL has saved £2.5m in the last three years by cutting senior management by more than a third.

Hartlepool Borough Council says the savings have been made after the authority reduced the number of departments from five to three.

The latest annual figures for 2011-12 show that the council had two officers earning over £100,000.

These were Nicola Bailey, who is acting chief executive, with a salary of £158,000 and Dave Stubbs, director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, on a salary of £130,000.

That is down from three in 2010-11 and six in 2009-10, although the former figures saw remuneration for three of them rise over £100,000 only when pension contributions and other costs were included, according to figures from the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Council bosses say reducing senior management salaries and cutting the number of departments from five to three has been part of a major drive to cut costs.

The council faces having to save £15m in the next three years after being hit with crippling reductions in Government funding.

A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “The salary levels for all council officers reflect the roles and responsibilities attached to individual posts.

“The positions of acting chief executive and director of regeneration and neighbourhoods have wide ranging responsibilities including multi-million pound budgets and the salary levels reflect this.

“Over the last three years, reducing senior management by more than a third and reducing the number departments from five to three has resulted in £2.5m of savings which has helped to protect front-line services in the wake of unprecedented Government cuts.”

It comes after campaign group Taxpayers’ Alliance published salaries for 2010-11 that showed three workers received salaries of more than £100,000, while another had a remuneration package of more than that figure when pension contributions and allowances were added.

The group claimed Durham County Council had 22 workers on more than £100,000 and Stockton Borough Council, which provides services in Billinghsam, Wolviston and parts of Wynyard, had 18.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance said there are 3,097 council staff nationwide earning more than £100,000 in 2010-11, up 13 per cent on 2009/10.

The group claimed that in 2010/11 there were 52 council employees nationally who received remuneration over £250,000, while 658 council employees received between £150,000 and £249,999.