Less top pay at town halls

Council Leader Councillor Simon Blackburn

Council Leader Councillor Simon Blackburn

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TOWN hall chiefs have slashed the number of staff on top wages since the latest “town hall rich list” was compiled.

The figures, collated for the sixth year by pressure group the Taxpayers Alliance (TPA) show in 2010/11, Blackpool Council paid out around £556,000 to four executive directors.

But since then a restructure of senior management has left just one top boss – chief executive Neil Jack – with earnings around the £100,000 mark.

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “The published salaries relate to the previous administration.

“The current administration is pledged to reduce the cost of senior management, and have already delivered on this pledge.

“Future years figures will reflect that we now only have one employee within the council earning slightly more than £100,000.”

Previous years had seen the cost of top salaries soar to around £1.4m although the Tory administration cut the number of senior officers by almost a third.

By last year the number of senior managers had been cut from seven to four.

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The figures also show in 2010/11 Wyre Council had four directors including the chief executive earning more than £100,000.

But since then the authority has restructured its senior management in a move which is saving more than £300,000 a year.

Fylde Council has just its chief executive listed as earning more than £100,000, while Lancashire County Council employed eight officers in 2010/11 earning more than £100,000 compared to nine the previous year.

Chief executive of the TPA Matthew Elliott said: “Taxpayers will be astonished council employees are still getting such a generous deal while everyone else in the public sector is facing a pay freeze.”

But public sector union Unison said while it was unfair for the low paid to see their earnings frozen, councils needed experienced people at the helm to ensure taxpayers were getting best value for money.

Heather Wakefield, head of local government for Unison, said: “This unjust pay policy has to end – local government workers and their families cannot take any more.

“But attacking top pay will not help taxpayers, including council workers.”

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