Top town hall earners on six figure sum

Councillors - including at Blackpool Town Hall pictured - have been voting on proposals for a Lancashire Combined Authority
Councillors - including at Blackpool Town Hall pictured - have been voting on proposals for a Lancashire Combined Authority
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Town hall leaders on the Fylde today defended the pay scales of their top earners in the wake of the latest research by campaign group the Taxpayers Alliance.

The group’s ninth ‘Town Hall Rich List’ shows at least 3,000 council employees nationally received total remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2013-14.

This year’s research also highlights council staff taking home renumeration packages worth more than £150,000.

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Councils have no staff earning that much, but chief executives at each council took home more than £100,000 when pension and other contributions are taken into account, according to the figures for 2013/14.

Figures published on Blackpool Council’s own website show only chief executive Neil Jack currently earns more than £100,000 - with a pay band between £100,000 and £104,999.

The other top earners are the Director of People, with a salary of between £95,000 and £99,999; Director of Public Health; Deputy Director of People and the Coroner who are each paid £90,000 to £94,999; and the Director of Resources who earns between £85,000 and £89,000.

In Wyre, in 2013/14 the total remuneration for the chief executive was £118,836. This included his Wyre Council salary of £90,000, payment for election work £5,793, expenses allowances £453 and pension contributions of £22,590.

Fylde Council’s chief executive Allan Oldfield receives a salary of £92,000 with pension contributions of £11,000.

Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The figures published in the national media are from 2013/14 and do not accurately reflect part year payments, and include redundancy and pension payments which we are legally obliged to pay when people are made redundant.

“The pay grade for anyone earning £50,000 or more is available on the council website and has been for a number of years. As of April 2015 there is only one officer whose basic pay is more than £100,000.

“The number of chief officers had reduced dramatically since we came to power in 2011. However, we are constantly reviewing our staffing structures to ensure that we are able to attract and retain the right staff who can deliver council services effectively, this means setting appropriate rates of pay.”

A spokesman for Fylde Council said: “We are now paying our chief executive less than five years ago.

“Our approach is we pay what we need to get the person of the calibre required, and we believe we have pitched it correctly.”

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Local authorities that are providing more for less and delivering council tax cuts clearly have talented people at the helm, but we all deserve to know how our money is being spent, and taxpayers should have the right to decide if they are getting value for their money from public servants.”

Councils are currently facing budget cuts, with Blackpool forced to slash spending by £25m during the current financial year.