Town Hall Rich List 2020: TaxPayers’ Alliance reveals 2,667 council staff received more than £100,000 despite crushing council tax rises

Embargoed: 00:01 Wednesday 15 April

 

As the country continues to battle the coronavirus crisis, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has called for council tax to be frozen and local authority spending to be focused on frontline health and social care services.

But as residents of every council in the UK face increased council tax this month, the TaxPayers' Alliance today publishes its annual Town Hall Rich List, the only comprehensive list of its kind with a council-by-council breakdown of local government executive pay deals.

The country is facing a profound challenge and the response of workers from the public, private and voluntary sectors has been laudable. But accountability still matters and taxpayers deserve to know if they are getting value for their hard-earned money.


Key findings

  • In 2018-19 there were at least 2,667 council employees who received total remuneration in excess of £100,000. That's 226 more than in 2017-18, and the highest number since 2013-14.
  • 667 council employees earned over £150,000, 60 more than in 2017-18.
  • A total of 32 local authority employees received remuneration in excess of a quarter of a million pounds, four more than in 2017-18.
  • A total of 25 local authority employees received a loss of office payment of more than £95,000, the proposed cap on payoffs for public sector employees. While this cap has been put into law, successive governments have not implemented it.

Click to read the full report



Regional highlights

  • Essex county council had the most employees receiving remuneration in excess of £100,000 with 35 earning over this amount.
  • Glasgow city council had the highest number of employees earning over £150,000 at 12.
  • The local authority to pay out the highest amount in terms of bonuses and performance related pay to a senior employee was Edinburgh city council, with the managing director receiving a £47,817 bonus.
  • The individual who received the largest amount in expenses was Glasgow council's Peter Duthie, CEO of Scottish Event Campus Ltd, who received £19,170 in benefits and expenses.

Click here for a full council by council breakdown



The 13th annual Town Hall Rich List is a vital tool for taxpayers wanting to judge which authorities are delivering the best value for money. This is especially important for residents facing squeezed household budgets during the current coronavirus crisis, with council tax charges going up across the country from 1st April.

In landmark polling last year, more than three quarters of those polled supported a cap on council tax rises. Support for this was 13 per cent higher amongst C2DE voters, the most popular policy option tested.

Click to read the full report



John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“The coronavirus crisis means that frontline council services are more crucial than ever, but at the same time household budgets face an enormous squeeze from crushing council tax rises.

“There are plenty of talented people in local authorities who are focused on delivering more for less, but that is needed across the board. The country needs every council to cut out waste and prioritise key services without resorting to punishing tax hikes on their residents.

“These figures should shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, but also allow taxpayers to hold to account those who aren’t delivering value for money at this critical time.”


Regional breakdown

In the East Midlands:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Derbyshire with 13.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by South Kesteven's strategic director - £336,000.

In the East of England:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Essex with 35.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Peterborough's corporate director for growth and regeneration - £243,397.

In London:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Haringey with 31.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Richmond and Wandsworth's chief executive - £301,650.

In the North East:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was County Durham with 26.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Gateshead's strategic director of communities and environment - £263,948.

In the North West:

  • The local authorities with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 were Liverpool and Cheshire West & Chester who each had 17.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Sefton's head of highways and public protection - £372,840.

In Northern Ireland:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Belfast with seven.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Belfast’s chief executive - £169,575.

In Scotland:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Glasgow with 21.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by North Lanarkshire's chief officer for health and social care - £615,550. This individual was the highest paid local council employee in the UK.

In the South East:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Kent with 32.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Oxfordshire's chief executive - £357,156.

In the South West:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Cornwall with 19.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Dorset's chief executive - £302,000.

In Wales:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Cardiff with 13.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Rhondda Cynon Taf’s director of regeneration and planning - £357,000.
  • Wales was also the region where the single largest compensation payout for loss of office was made - £238,000 to Rhondda Cynon Taf's departing director of regeneration and planning.

In the West Midlands:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Birmingham with 22.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Birmingham’s chief operating officer, strategic services - £398,396.

In Yorkshire and the Humber:

  • The local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19 was Leeds with 18.
  • The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by Barnsley’s chief executive - £249,000.

Click here for a full regional and council by council breakdown


TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)

Media contact:

Sam Packer
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
sam.packer@taxpayersalliance.com
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) fights to reform taxes, reduce spending and protect taxpayers. Find out more about the TaxPayers' Alliance at www.taxpayersalliance.com.

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. The full methodology used to calculate the figures in this release can be found in the research paper.

  4. In landmark polling released in November 2019, the TaxPayers’ Alliance found that there was widespread public support for a freeze on council tax, with 76 per cent of all voters and 83 per cent of C2DE voters supporting the proposal. The polling was conducted for the TaxPayers' Alliance by Public First Ltd. Total sample size was 4,004 with fieldwork between 26 - 30 July 2019.
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