Town Hall Rich List 2023 marks the 16th version of this research, first compiled in 2007. For the past 16 years the TaxPayers’ Alliance has assembled the most comprehensive list of council employees in the UK in receipt of over £100,000 in total remuneration in a single financial year.
For the average (band D) property in England, council tax will rise by 5.1 per cent, or an extra £99, in 2023-24. In Wales it will increase by 5.8 per cent. Most Scottish local authorities have announced a rise of around 5 per cent, within a range of between 3.9 and 10 per cent.
There has been a significant increase in the number of local authorities failing to publish their annual statement of accounts for 2021-22. The statutory deadline for publishing draft local authority accounts for 2021-22 was the 31 July 2022. Currently 47 local authorities have failed to publish even draft unaudited accounts for 2021-22. This compares to 25 local authorities who had failed to publish their accounts at the same date in 2022, a serious year on year deterioration. A table of the councils failing to publish their annual report and accounts is set out in Appendix 1.
It means that over 11.8 per cent of local authorities failed to provide the financial information needed to allow taxpayers to judge whether or not they get value for money.
For local authorities in the year 2021-22
- At least 2,759 employees received more than £100,000 in total remuneration, of which 721 received £150,000 or more.
- Based on the proportion of local authorities failing to disclose details of their highly paid employees, it is reasonable to conclude that the likely total of employees earning over £100,000 would be 3,126 and 818 over £150,000.
- The average number of employees who received £100,000 or more in total remuneration was 7.9 per local authority. The average number receiving £150,000 or more was 2.1 employees per local authority.
- Westminster was the local authority with the greatest number of employees receiving total remuneration of over £100,000 with 50 employees.
- The highest remunerated council employee was the managing director of Guildford council, receiving £607,633 in total remuneration. This included pension contributions of £339,158, £154,240 compensation for loss of office, a salary of £107,195 and £5,688 in benefits.
- The local authority to pay out the highest amount in terms of bonuses and performance related pay to a senior employee was Newcastle upon Tyne council, with their director of public health receiving a £36,192 bonus.
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Frequently asked questions can be found here.
The data for City of Edinburgh Council has been updated.
 Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, Council Tax levels set by local authorities: England 2023-24, 23 March 2023.
 StatsWales, Annual increase in average band D council tax, by billing authority, statswales.gov.wales/Catalogue/Local-Government/Finance/Council-Tax/Levels/annualpercentageincreaseinaveragebanddcounciltax-by-billingauthority, (accessed 31 March 2023).
 The Scotsman, Scottish Council Tax Rises: Here are the 10 most expensive Band D council tax rates in Scotland – from Edinburgh to South Ayrshire, 14 March 2023, (accessed 31 March 2023).