NEW RESEARCH: Town Hall Rich List 2012
Apr 2012 25

3,097 council staff earning over £100k

  • The only comprehensive guide to top pay at UK local councils, with detailed breakdowns for each council included
  • A record 3,097 council staff earned over £100,000 in 2010-11 (up 13 per cent on 2009-10)

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) proudly presents the sixth Town Hall Rich List, the ‘Who’s Who‘ of local government fat cats, detailing all those whose remuneration exceeds £100,000. As millions of voters across the country prepare to cast judgement on their local council at the ballot box, this information will help inform decisions as to which authorities are delivering taxpayer value for money.

To find out information about your local council’s fat cats, click here

To read the full report, including detailed breakdowns for each council, click here

Since the first Town Hall Rich List in 2007, the number of senior staff receiving such large sums has soared and the latest list shows that trend continuing. Executive pay in town halls across the UK has continued to be insulated from economic reality, despite the urgent need to find savings and many councils claiming that they are being forced to cut services because they are getting less money from central government.

The Town Hall Rich List 2012 reveals the job titles, full remuneration and many of the names of all local council employees earning over £100,000 for the financial year 2010-11. These details have been taken from accounts published by councils themselves.

Town Hall Rich List 2012 is more comprehensive than ever before. Some of the entries on our list include redundancy payments pushing employees into higher remuneration brackets, but this does not wholly account for the increased number receiving remuneration packages over £100,000.

To find out information about your local council’s fat cats, click here

To read the full report, including detailed breakdowns for each council, click here

The key findings of this research are:

  • There were at least 3,097 council employees who received total remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2010-11, a 13 per cent increase on the previous year’s 2,696.
  • There were 1,146 council employees whose total remuneration was between£90,000 and £99,999 excluding pension contributions. Even taking the minimum employer contribution level on the Local Government Pension Scheme of 14 per cent, an employee receiving a salary of £90,000 would receive a minimum pension contribution of £12,600, and therefore a total remuneration in excess of £100,000. This means that our total of 3,097 is likely to be an underestimate.
  • In 2010-11 there were 52 council employees who received remuneration over £250,000, up from 45 in 2009-10.
  • In 2010-11 658 council employees received remuneration between £150,000 and £249,999, up from 575 in 2009-10.
  • The average remuneration increase for staff in the Town Hall Rich List from 2009-10 to 2010-11 was 26.85 per cent. But this would have been driven by a number of employees receiving large redundancy payments in 2010-11. To account for this, a more accurate picture would be the median average increase, which is 1.83 per cent. This was at the same time that a wider public sector pay freeze was in place.
  • The council with the most employees in receipt of remuneration over £100,000 in 2010-11 was Barnet Council with 47. There were a further 34 councils with at least 20 employees receiving more than £100,000 in 2010-11
  • The council employee with the largest remuneration package in the UK in 2010-11 was Ian Drummond, the Executive Director of Special Projects at Glasgow City Council, who received £450,628. The largest remuneration excluding redundancy payments was Geoff Alltimes, Chief Executive of Hammersmith and Fulham Council with £281,666, an increase of 3.97 per cent on the previous year’s total.
  • The largest remuneration package in Wales in 2010-11 was received by Bryn Parry-Jones, Chief Executive of Pembrokeshire County Council, who received £195,164. This was an increase of 2.64 per cent on the previous year. The council in Wales with the highest number of employees with remuneration exceeding £100,000 wasCardiff City Council with 19 in 2010-11.
  • The largest remuneration package in Scotland in 2010-11, excluding any redundancy payments, was received by George Black, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council who received £217,419, the same as the previous year. Glasgow also had the highest number of employees at a Scottish local authority with remuneration exceeding £100,000 in 2010-11 with 25.
  • The largest remuneration package in England in 2010-11 was received by Peter Gilroy, Chief Executive of Kent County Council with £439,071, although that does include a substantial redundancy payment.
  • The largest remuneration package in Northern Ireland in 2010-11 was received by an employee of Belfast City Council who received remuneration (excluding pension contributions) of between £110,000 and £120,000.
  • The largest remuneration package in London in 2010-11 was Leo Boland, Chief Executive of the Greater London Authority who received £433,157, although this also included a large payment for loss of office. After Barnet, the London Boroughs with the second highest number of employees in receipt of remuneration exceeding £100,000 were Wandsworth Council and Tower Hamlets Council, both with 32.

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“Taxpayers will be astonished that so many council employees are still getting such a generous deal while everyone else in the public sector is facing a pay freeze. As millions of voters across the country prepare for local council elections, it is vital that they can make an informed choice about which local authorities are delivering value for money. The Town Hall Rich List shows that while councils insist cuts can only mean pressure on frontline services, some clearly have cash in the bank when it comes to paying their own senior staff.  These council executives must ensure they have the moral authority to lead necessary spending cuts, in many cases that will mean taking a pay cut themselves. Households have seen their Council Tax bills double over the last decade and deserve better value.”

Britain's independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes

  • William grist

    the problem as i see it is….we get to elect counsellers…..we don,t have any say on town hall executives, irrespective on how well or poorly they do their job, and they seem to be able to dictate the salary they receive 

    • Frongoch Axeman

       It is the job of elected councillors to hold the council to account. Vote wisely.

      • Paul Hayward

        As long as “elected” councillors get their own allowances and expenses package with additional payments for portfolio’s and special duties, they will say NOTHING in case that gravy train fails to stop at their own station in the future. And so it goes on and on and on…. say nothing, and keep feathering that nest..

        Paul Hayward

    • Vampire

      I’m an employee of Surrey County Council, my pay rises over the last 4 years average out at 0.2 per annum%. In fact most of my team were downgraded, losing an average of 15% of our salaries, it was only those managers earning more than £50k who maintained their previous levels of pay. 

  • Blarg1987

    I agree this is wrong, however it is a culture we have created, we as the electorate demanded the public sector be run like the private sector, and therefore people have asked for the same pros which anyone would in that position.

    Council’s are service providers not buisnessses and should be run as such which is a different set up from the private sector which is to charge as much as possible to do as litttle as possible.

    An interesting piece of research which the TPA should look at is companies that benefit from public sector contracts whos CEO’s are paid not thousands but millions of pounds and who mainly if not fully get work from the public sector.

    This will be the next scandal.

    • wibbling

      Yes, but again, that’s the result of incompetent government contract writers.

  • godwyns

    Ridiculous! This is astonishingly a wag of finger in the face of taxpayers in this country. Shameful that successive govts has failed to do something about this. MPs earn far less while most of them do more work in comparison to most of these overbloated piggy-boxes in councils.

  • Mcleod

    In the spirit of open data, can we get the data in .csv or excel?

    • The TaxPayers’ Alliance

      We’ve put the raw data into a Google spreadsheet, which you can view here –

      Click ‘file > download as’ and you will be able to export the raw data in a variety of different formats, including CSV and XLS.

  • Nickpeat

    Scandalous. How can any council jobsworth justify a higher salary than the Prime Minister?  As long as our apathy continues, they will get away with it.

  • Kommisar58

    I work in local government, but I am ex-Armed Forces so I know what it is like to be working for a ‘can do’ organisation. With local authorities there seem to be so many convoluted work processes in place and more concern with procedures than the outcomes public rightly expect.
    Unfortunately the majority of senior executives in local government stifle enthusiasm with increasing levels of bureaucracy. These people have few management skills and next to zero levels of leadership. Selection for these positions often seems to be associated with nepotism, cronyism and sycophancy.

  • Guest

    While the “Rochdale grooming trial” affair exposed total lack of any actions from Rochdale Borough Council Social Services, who were aware of ongoing abuse, but were too scare to act fearing accusations of being racist (one of universal excuses now-a-days), little check up in the Rich List shows that Executive Director: Learners and Young People, Schools Service and Child Care (Formerly Children’s Services) is paid £139,000

    Yet again – high pay and no delivering at all…

  • Rggraham1947

    3,097 council staff earning over £100k
    Whilst I fully support your efforts, I must take issue with you over the above headline: although these people are paid this money, there is no evidence that they actually “earn” it. This is a common reporting error and you should try to avoid it in future

  • Foolsgold Gordo

    They’ve certainly gone nuts when the normal person in the work place gets about £21k and these people are getting £hundreds of thousands.  There’s so many of them as well, not just the head of the organisation but nearly everybody because there are managers of everything!

  • Dogrough

    Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, home to DEREK MYERS, chief of all councils in the UK AS WELL AS the LGO – is conspicuously missing – the alleged paedophile playground of perverts are RBKC are richer than all the rest put together – but not here? No that I can see