Council says senior staff earning their salaries as TaxPayers Alliance publishes 'Town Hall Rich List'

Council bosses in Hartlepool say their senior officers are earning their salaries.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 7:32 am
Five senior officers at Hartlepool Civic Centre each earn over £100,000 a year. Picture by FRANK REID

The TaxPayers’ Alliance annual ‘Town Hall Rich List’ shows that five senior officers are all earning over £100,000 a year in their roles – with a sixth earning over £95,000.

But a spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said their salaries represent the responsibilities which go with their jobs.

He said: “The most senior local government posts come with significant statutory responsibility and that is reflected in the salaries paid by councils across the UK.

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"As an authority, it is vital that we are able to recruit suitably qualified and experienced staff but we also recognise the importance of achieving best value for local Council Tax payers.

"The salaries paid to our most senior staff are, in some cases, lower than the average “going rate” for the region and, in addition, significant savings have been achieved in recent years as a result of senior management team restructures.”

The figures show that the council’s chief executive is paid £160,191 a year, with the director of regeneration and neighbourhoods earning a salary of £116,810.

The council’s director of children's and joint commissioning services earns £114,268, with the director of resources and development on a salary of £110,907 and the director of adult and community based services earning £109,535.

In addition, the director of public health earns a salary of £96,528.

The five are among 95 senior council officials in the region to be earning over £100,000 a year.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance says the 14th version of its annual list comes at a time when – for the average band D property – taxpayers in England will have to pay a council tax rise of 4.4 per cent - an extra £81 a year in 2021/22.

A spokesman said: “Against this background, the number of local authority employees receiving over £100,000 in total remuneration has risen to the highest level since 2013-14.”

Other key findings in the report are that at least 2,802 people employed by local authorities in 2019-20 received more than £100,000 in total remuneration – an increase of 135 on 2018-19 and 693 received over £150,000, 26 more than the previous year.The average number of ‘six figure’ employees in each local authority is seven.