Thousands of senior staff earned more than £100k last year

Town halls gold rush: Thousands of senior staff earned more than £100k last year… despite most working from home during Covid pandemic

  • Total of 2,921 senior council officials received salary of more than six figures
  • And total of 739 were paid more than £150,000- up 46 on the year before 
  • The highest paid was Jo Negrini, the former chief exec of Croydon Council
  • Ms Negrini left the council two months before it went bankrupt and was paid £613,895 

Almost 3,000 town hall bureaucrats took home more than £100,000 last year as salaries soared during the pandemic.

Despite the fact that most were working from home, a total of 2,921 senior council officials received remuneration totalling more than six figures in 2020/21 – up 119 on the year before.

A total of 739 were paid more than £150,000 – up 46 on the year before – according to the new Town Hall Rich List compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Stripping out extras such as bonuses and pension contributions, there are 234 council staff earning more than Boris Johnson’s salary of £157,372.

The highest paid was Jo Negrini, the former chief executive of Croydon Council in south London.

Miss Negrini – who left the council two months before it effectively went bankrupt in November 2020 – received £613,895 including a loss-of-office payment of £144,356 and a ‘pension strain payment’ of £292,851.

The highest paid was Jo Negrini (pictured), the former chief executive of Croydon Council in south London. Miss Negrini – who left the council two months before it effectively went bankrupt in November 2020 – received £613,895 including a loss-of-office payment of £144,356 and a ‘pension strain payment’ of £292,851

Pictured: Numbers and statistics surrounding senior council officials and their pay

The huge increases come as families are hit with average council tax rises across the country of 3.5 per cent.

For the first time, more than half of town halls are charging band D households more than £2,000 a year – with the average bill rising to £1,966.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said the high salaries showed that there was still a lot of waste that could be cut in local authorities. 

‘Taxpayers facing a cost-of-living crisis want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership,’ he said.

‘With households having suffered through the pandemic and now struggling under colossal tax bills, the country needs councils to prioritise key services without resorting to punishing tax hikes. 

‘These figures will allow residents to judge town hall bosses for themselves and hold their local councils to account.’

In January, it was revealed that 623 Whitehall and quango civil servants earned more than £150,000. The Daily Mail also revealed in February that 549 executives at NHS hospital trusts were paid more than this amount in 2020/21.

John O’Connell (pictured), chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said the high salaries showed that there was still a lot of waste that could be cut in local authorities

It means that, once town hall staff are included, almost 2,000 public sector staff took home more than £150,000 last year. 

The Town Hall Rich List shows that, during the first year of the pandemic, the number of council staff receiving more than £100,000 was at its highest since 2013/14.

And the 739 staff earning more than £150,000 marked the highest number since the TaxPayers’ Alliance began releasing the Rich List. The figures include extras such as bonuses and employers’ pension contributions.

Of the ten local authorities with the most employees receiving over £100,000, eight of them were London councils. Across the country, the average number of employees taking home more than £100,000 in total remuneration per local authority is 7.7. The average number earning more than £150,000 is two per council.

The huge increases come as families are hit with average council tax rises across the country of 3.5 per cent

A total of 23 local authority employees received a loss of office payment of more than £95,000 – the former payoff cap for public sector employees.

The local authority with the greatest number of employees who took home more than £100,000 was Westminster Council, with 44 employees. The council which paid out the highest amount in bonuses and performance-related pay to a senior employee was Hambleton District Council in North Yorkshire, with their chief executive receiving a £26,535 bonus.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said that senior pay is decided by councillors. They added that it is important to retain people ‘with the right skills and experience’. 

For the first time, more than half of town halls are charging band D households more than £2,000 a year – with the average bill rising to £1,966 (stock image)

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