Our latest research, the 15th edition of the Town Hall Rich List, reveals the top bureaucrats and box-tickers who have received hundreds of millions of pounds from council taxpayers.
Here are 10 things you need to know about Town Hall Rich List 2022:
- The data from this Town Hall Rich List is from during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s based on the latest full financial year accounts available from councils (FY 2020-21, right from the start of the first lockdown). Most of us, including many council workers, were asked to work from home.
- Our heat map allows you to see how the numbers differ from region to region. While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are filled with varying shades of blue and green, there are significant gaps in England, representing councils which failed to publish their accounts. This is the case for Wiltshire, Buckinghamshire, Bromley, and Barking and Dagenham among others. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the larger the area, and the more urban the area, the more officials there are receiving these pay packets. So London is a dark blue, as is Cornwall, Dorset and Northumberland. Bucking this trend is Essex.
- The number of officials earning over £100,000 has increased five-fold since THRL was first published. In 2007, when we first published results, there were 578 council officials earning above £100,000. In the last financial year, which this list covers, at least 2,921 people were employed by local authorities on this amount.
- The number of officials earning over £150,000 has increased ten-fold since THRL was first published. In 2007 there were 64 council officials earning above £150,000, compared to 739 in the 2020-21 financial year. There are now more council officials on over £150,000 than there were total officials on over £100,000.
- Some council chief executives have seen their salaries surge much faster than the average British worker in the past fifteen years. In Bury, the Chief Executive took home £100,000 in 2007. This has increased by almost 90% to £187,000. Yet since 2007, according to the ONS, the average UK salary has increased by a little over 40%, or less than 2.5% a year, from £21,476 to £30,212. In some places, however, chief executive salaries have been surprisingly restrained. In Cambridgeshire, the chief executive took home £173,596 in 2020-21. This is actually down from the £199,999 the chief executive took home in 2007. Perhaps they realise that the TPA is watching?
- A few places saw reductions in top paid bosses. For example, in Bexley, where the number had more than halved from 15 to 7. In Epping Forest, the number had halved from 10 to 5. Essex also reduced their number from 40 to 37, although they still had the second most in the country.
- Westminster had the most officials receiving remuneration of over £100,000, at 44. However, they didn’t specify if this included teachers or not (we try to exclude entries whenever this information is disaggregated) and the council currently has the lowest council tax in the country, charging £866 a year for a Band D property.
- Croydon had the highest remunerated council official in 2021, but it was Hillingdon that dished out the highest salary. Fran Beasley took home £259,211 in pay, excluding bonuses, expenses and pension contributions. This compares to Jo Negrini’s salary of £151,474. Ms Negrini, however, saw that pay packet swell with almost £500,000 in compensation for loss of office and pension contributions.
- London councils made up 8 of the top 10 for most officials receiving over £100,000 in remuneration. As well as Westminster, this also includes Hackney, Haringey, Greenwich, Newham, Waltham Forest, Southwark, Croydon.
- There are seven councils with no council officials receiving over £100,000 in remuneration. Of the seven councils with no officers earning above this sum, all but two charge above the average Band D rate of £1,966. Cherwell Council charges a whopping £2,138. Only the Isles of Scilly charge well below the average, at £1,638.