Two Blackpool Council chief officers earn basic salary of more than £100,000, new figures reveal.
Chief Executive Neil Jack had a basic salary of £136,549 in 2016/17 with an overall package of £154,378, according to the Taxpayers Alliance
Steve Thompson, Director of Resources at the town hall, had a basic salary of £93,856 with an overall package of £106,544 - although his basic salary has risen since the end of that financial year.
The Alliance said Mr Jack and five other officers had packages of more than £100,000 although one directorship - Director of People - has since been scrapped.
According to Blackpool Council’s website, which is more up to date than the Taxpayers Alliance figures, Director of Health Arif Rajpura is paid a basic salary of £90,000 to £94,999.
In its survey, it created a “rich list” of 45 top council executives in Lancashire who enjoyed bumper salary packages of more than £100,000 in 2016/17 - at a time of pay freezes, staff and service cuts.
Now councils are facing calls for salaries to be scaled back at a time when council tax bills have risen.
Campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance revealed that across the country, 558 council employees received total remuneration packages above £150,000 and that included seven staff in Lancashire - three at Lancashire County Council, two at Blackburn Council, one at Blackpool Council and one at Hyndburn Council.
In Lancashire, former county council chief executive Jo Turton topped the list wth a total package of £198,685 and basic salary of £171,745 with a pension contribution of £21,640.
A Taxpayers’ Alliance spokesman said: “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 high remuneration packages, with staggering pay-outs for those leaving their jobs despite a £95,000 cap passed by the last government.”
It branded high officer salaries “disappointing”, with many councils “responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.”
A dozen other top officers at County Hall also had packages of more than £100,000, including the council’s Corporate Director of Commissioning and Deputy Chief Executive whose basic salary was £127,890 and whose package amounted to £153,221.
The figures for the Corporate Director of Operations and Delivery were £130,493 with a total package of £151,417. The total remuneration figure includes salary, expenses, any bonuses, compensation, other payments and employer pension contributions. But there can be significant differences in what is included in the total package. The Alliance says total remuneration “includes, but is not limited to salary, benefits in kind, expenses, bonuses, any stated election duty fees, redundancy payments and employer’s pension contributions, unless stated otherwise.”
It says that pension contributions are typically between 14 and 18 per cent of salaries on average.
At Blackpool Council unitary authority Chief Executive Neil Jack had a total package of £154,378 and a basic salary of £136,549.
Fylde Chief Executive Allan Oldfield had a basic salary of £97,000 and with pension contribution of £109,000. Wyre’s Chief Executive Garry Payne had a basic salary of £103,945 and a total package of £117,528.
No one from Blackpool Council was available for comment.
What the councils say...
FYLDE COUNCIL: “It would be more appropriate for the stakeholders to determine whether the salary for the Chief Executive is fair or not because it is a subjective assessment that would no doubt receive a mixed response. However, the salary for the post at Fylde is amongst the lowest in the region and remains less than the salary paid for the same position in 2011.”
WYRE COUNCIL: Wyre Council declined to comment directly but said it agreed with the LGA’s comments. (See above.)
LANCASHIRE CC: A spokesman said: “Senior officers’ pay is intended to reflect their skills and responsibilities and ensure the best people possible are in these key positions.”
Additional payments listed were for leased car or car allowances where staff chose to receive the cash equivalent to the car lease. There are currently eight county council staff who earn more than £100,000.
CHORLEY: Rebecca Huddleston, Director of Policy and Governance at Chorley Council, said: “The Chief Executive leads the organisation and has the highest level of accountability for a wide range of local services.
“ At Chorley Council the Chief Executive also undertakes the Chief Finance Officer role which in other organisations is done by another individual.
“It is important that the right person with the right skills and experience is in the role and the majority of local authority Chief Executive roles are paid similar, if not more, to reflect that accountability. No one at Chorley Council receives a bonus. The ‘bonus’ figure quoted by the Tax Payers’ Alliance is misleading as that figure relates to a car lease provided through Chorley Council but deducted from the Chief Executive’s basic salary package. We are open and transparent with our financial information and anyone can access it on our website at chorley.gov.uk.” including a breakdown of all senior salaries.”
PRESTON COUNCIL: Deputy leader Coun Robert Boswell said: “Preston is one of the biggest authorities in the north west. I think we’ve got pretty good value for money for what we’ve paid up to now. We have national agreements with terms and conditions. You can’t just unilaterally change someone’s salary.”
Preston chief executive Lorraine Norris will retire next month and Coun Boswell said an interim chief executive would be appointed for the next 12 months on a lower salary. He added: “There is a lot less work. The Chief Executive will still have a demanding job, it does not warrant the pay the current chief executive gets.”
SOUTH RIBBLE COUNCIL: Councillor Peter Mullineaux, Leader of the Council, said: “As an authority, we always work hard to offer real value for money for our taxpayers.
“The annual salary we offer our chief executive is competitive and comparable to that of other district councils of a similar size.”
FULL LIST: (DATA ORDER: Council / Name / Job Title / Salary / Expenses / Bonuses / Compensation for loss of office / Other payments / Remuneration (excluding pension contributions) / Employer pension Contributions / 2016-17)
Blackpool / N Jack / Chief Executive / 136,549 / 963 / 70 / 137,582 / 16,796 / 154,378
Blackpool / A Rajpura / Director of public health / 113,455 / 4,841 / 235 / 118,531 / 16,224 / 134,755
Blackpool / D Curtis / Director of people / 102,558 / 803 / 160 / 103,521 / 13,255 / 116,776
Blackpool / S Thompson / Director of Resources / 93,856 / 1,144 / 95,000 / 11,544 / 106,544
Blackpool / A Cavill / Director of Place / 89,298 / 963 / 1,148 / 91,409 / 10,984 / 102,393
Blackpool / K Smith / Deputy Director of People (Adult Services) / 88,957 / 963 / 7 / 89,927 / 11,200 / 101,127
Burnley / N/A / Chief Executive / 106,457 / 106,457 / 14,105 / 120,562
Burnley / N/A / Director of Resources / 52,424 / 50,000 / 102,424 / 6,683 / 109,107
Chorley / G Hall / Chief Executive / 107,000 / 1,000 / 108,000 / 12,000 / 120,000
Fylde / A Oldfield / Chief Executive / 97,000 / 97,000 / 12,000 / 109,000
Hyndburn / D Welsby / Chief Executive / 118,222 / 191 / 2,839 / 121,252 / 33,133 / 154,385
Hyndburn / J McIntyre / Deputy Chief Exec / 95,726 / 96 / 5,836 / 101,658 / 26,803 / 128,461
Hyndburn / J Ellis / Exec Director (Legal & Democratic) / 74,080 / 64 / 9,975 / 84,119 / 19,071 / 103,190
Lancashire / J Turton / Chief Executive / 171,745 / 5,300 / 177,045 / 21,640 / 198,685
Lancashire / S Browne / Corporate Director Commissioning and Deputy Chief Executive (Executive Director) / 127,890 / 9,217 / 137,107 / 16,114 / 153,221
Lancashire / L Taylor / Corporate Director Operations and Delivery / 130,493 / 4,482 / 134,975 / 16,442 / 151,417
Lancashire / S Karunanithi / Director Public Health and Wellbeing / 113,625 / 5,300 / 118,925 / 16,248 / 135,173
Lancashire / E Sutton / Director of Development & Corporate Services / 108,575 / 8,309 / 116,884 / 13,681 / 130,565
Lancashire / I Young / Director Governance, Finance and Public Services / 111,100 / 5,300 / 116,400 / 13,999 / 130,399
Lancashire / N/A / Director of Education, Schools and Care / 108,575 / 6,613 / 115,188 / 13,681 / 128,869
Lancashire / T Pounder / Director of Adult Services / 108,575 / 5,766 / 114,341 / 13,681 / 128,022
Lancashire / N Kissock / Director of Financial Resources / 89,445 / 5,188 / 94,633 / 11,270 / 105,903
Lancaster / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A
Pendle / D Langton / Strategic Director / 92,718 / 377 / 93,095 / 11,312 / 104,407
Pendle / P Mousdale / Corporate Director / 90,466 / 203 / 90,669 / 11,025 / 101,694
Preston / L Norris / Chief Executive / 130,000 / 130,000 / 14,000 / 144,000
Ribble Valley / M Scott / Chief Executive / 104,110 / 8,042 / 112,152 / 14,050 / 126,202
Ribble Valley / J Heap / Director of Community Services / 89,771 / 89,771 / 11,148 / 100,919
South Ribble / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A / N/A
West Lancs / K Webber / Chief Executive / 110,058 / 110,058 / 14,128 / 124,186
Wyre / G Payne / Chief Executive / 103,945 / 438 / 104,383 / 13,145 / 117,528
•The total remuneration figure includes salary, expenses, any bonuses, compensation, other payments and employer pension contributions. But there can be signfiicant differences in what is included in the total package. The Alliance says total remuneration “includes, but is not limited to salary, benefits in kind, expenses, bonuses, any stated election duty fees, redundancy payments and employer’s pension contributions, unless stated otherwise.”
It adds that pension contributions are on average between 14 and 18 per cent of salaries.