Councils defend chiefs’ high pay

Richard Harbord
Richard Harbord

High-paid staff at Boston Borough Council and Lincolnshire County Council have come under fire in a report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

The body published the amount of staff paid more than £50,000 in 2011/12 at every local authority in the country – in a bid to show progress in cutting staff costs when council budgets are reducing.

Though Boston’s council came out with a comparatively low figure – with the report claiming six people on very high salaries – the county council was shown to have spent £17,732,500 on staff who were paid more than £50,000.

The amount of people receiving that amount had risen by 66 from the previous year – a rise of almost £5 million.

A county council spokesman said a lot of people had been made redundant that year, and had received pay-offs, pushing them over the £50,000 mark.

David O’Connor, executive director for performance and governance, said: “One of the first steps we took following the reduction in our budget was to reduce the number of senior managers.

“As a result we now have 33 fewer staff on salaries above £50,000 than we did a year ago.”

Boston Borough Council, which was said to have spent £445,000 on highly-paid staff, said the information was incorrect, and it had only five highly-paid staff, two of which are shared with another authority.

The council employs chief executive Rochard Harbord on a £108,000 15-day-a-month deal.

The alliance found that, overall, there were 28,754 staff council staff paid £50,000 plus in the UK, costing taxpayers £1.9 billion in 2011-12.