Here's how Lancaster City Council's top earners compare with other local authorities

Lancaster City Council has come out favourably in the latest 'Town Hall Rich List' for employees earning £100k or more

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 12:30 pm
Lancaster Town Hall.

Around Britain as a whole, thousands of council employees took home six-figure pay packages last year.

Nearly 3,000 local government execs earned more than £100,000 during 2019-20 - with some receiving more than a quarter of a million pounds.

The annual Town Hall Rich List, produced by the TaxPayers’ Alliance pressure group, found at least 2,802 people employed by local authorities in 2019-20 received more than £100,000 in total remuneration, an increase of 135 on 2018-19 figures.

This includes salary, benefits, expenses, bonuses, any stated election duty fees, redundancy payments and employer’s pension contributions.

The Rich List also revealed that 31 employees took home in excess of £250,000 in remuneration.

However, by comparison, Lancaster district residents will be pleased to learn that just one people employed by Lancaster City Council earned more than or equal to £100,000 in 2019-20.

The chief executive - currently Kieran Keane - is the only officer with a combined salary and pension in excess of £100,000.

As at 2019-20, the chief executive earned a salary of £113,560 and a pension contribution of about £17,600, with expenses of less than £500, amounting to less than £132,000 in total.

The director of corporate services at that time, Dan Bates, was paid £90,000, which included additional payments for statutory and electoral services which are not consolidated into annual pay, plus a pension contribution of around £14,000.

While this totalled around £104,000, the core salary and pension for Mr Bates, who no longer works for the authority, amounted to less than £100,000.

As a result, Lancaster City Council is ranked 294 in the country - out of 407 local authorities - for having the greatest number of employees earn more than or equal to £100,000 in total remuneration.

It ranked 28th in the north west out of 41 councils.

It also reduced the number of staff on more than £100,000 after having four in total the previous year, which included redundancy payments.

A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: “The role of local authorities and the need to have the right people in post has never been more important, as the ongoing highly regarded local response to the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated.

"Competitive salaries are paid to attract and retain talented individuals who are responsible for the delivery of a variety of highly complex services, and we place the quality of service offered and value for money at the heart of our decision-making.

"Like most councils, in the interests of transparency, we routinely publish accurate information on executive pay on our website so it is always available for people to view.”

Meanwhile, Lancashire County Council, has insisted that it is providing good value for money after figures revealed 11 employees received more than £100,000 in 2019-20, no change from 12 months earlier.

Essex County Council had the greatest number of employees whose remuneration was in excess of £100,000, with 40 employees, five more than the previous year.

Glasgow City Council had the highest number of employees receiving more than £150,000 at 14, two more than the previous year.

The deputy chief executive at Coventry City Council was the highest remunerated council employee in 2019-20, receiving £573,660 in total. This included a loss of office payment of £395,110, pension payment of £26,559, and salary of £151,991.

The City of Edinburgh Council paid out the highest amount in terms of bonuses and performance related pay to a senior employee, with the general manager of Edinburgh Trams receiving a £48,895 bonus.

Simon Baker, the now former chief executive of High Peak Borough Council, claimed the most in expenses at £38,043.

The analysis will come as unwelcome news for homeowners and renters across the country who expect to see a rise in council tax bills this year as cash-strapped authorities attempt to recover from the pandemic.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said while staff in some councils will have “more than earned their keep” working during the coronavirus pandemic, hefty pay packets in those that are not seen to be delivering for residents would be harder to swallow.

“Taxpayers facing huge and hated council tax rises want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership,” he said.

“At the onset of the coronavirus crisis, thousands of town hall officials were taking home huge sums. While councils were plunged into tackling the pandemic, many staff will have more than earned their keep, but households have nevertheless struggled with enormous and unpopular council tax rises.

“These figures shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, and will enable residents to hold those who aren’t delivering value for money to account.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said senior pay is decided in an “open and transparent” way.

They said: “Councils are large, complex organisations with sizable budgets and responsibility for more than 1,300 different statutory duties and responsibilities that make a huge difference to people’s lives.

"It is important that the right people with the right skills and experience are retained to deliver this important work.

“Senior pay is always decided by democratically elected councillors in an open and transparent way.”