Six council staff in Hartlepool raked in more than £100,000 in 2017/18, report finds

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

The number of Hartlepool Borough Council employees earning more than £100,000 a year has been revealed.

 The findings from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) ‘Town Hall Rich List’ showed there was six employees with a remuneration package in six figures in 2017-18.

Hartlepool Borough Council bosses said the salaries of its most senior staff are set in line with other local authorities in the region to attract the best candidates possible.

Hartlepool had the joint third least number of council staff receiving remuneration over £100,000 in the North East, with only Middlesbrough, with 5, and Gateshead with 4, having fewer.

The local authority in the North East with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2017-18 was Durham County Council with 17.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesperson said: “It is vital we recruit people with appropriate skills and experience and salaries reflect responsibilities.

“The council sets the salaries of its most senior staff in line with other local authorities in the region, to ensure it is able to attract the best quality candidates possible.”

In 2017/18 the chief executive of the council in Hartlepool picked up a £146,609 salary, along with £22,276 towards their pension.

The director of regeneration and neighbourhoods picked up a £110,912 salary, with £16,848 towards their pension, with the director of finance and policy receiving £102,520 salary and £15,583 pension contribution.

The chief solicitor at the time received a total remuneration package of £245,473, made up of a £93,663 salary, £63,451 in compensation and £88,359 towards their pension.

The interim director of public health also received £149,250 from the council.

An undisclosed job title also received a £172,500 salary. The role was undisclosed in the report due to transferring across to the council from another employer and was made redundant during 2017/18 following a staffing restructure.

The voluntary redundancy payment was in line with terms and conditions set by the previous employer, which had been protected under legal regulations.

Nationwide in 2017-18 there were at least 2,454 council employees who received total remuneration in excess of £100,000, despite the average council tax bill increasing.

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 staggering pay-outs for those leaving their jobs.

“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.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service