On April 1st the TaxPayers' Alliance released the Town Hall Rich List. It's the most comprehensive guide to executive pay in councils across the UK and is often cited as a source long after its publication. To make it even easier to see data in most regions, a geographical 'heat-map' has been produced by Shoothill, and it went live on the MSN UK home page last week. (There's currently a breakdown for all districts and most counties.) It's innovative tools like these that will make it easier than ever to find local information and compare different authorities. Local constituents deserve to have the best possible information to hand so they can hold their council to account and visual maps like these will only help that process. You can see the map by clicking here.
This year we found that at least 1,250 staff in councils received over £100,000 in 2008-09. We said at ‘at least’ because we did not receive responses to our Freedom of Information requests from all the councils, so it was very likely that some staff had been missed. Also, data provided varied in quality and clarity. Since we published the research, we have received more responses from councils that were responding to the original request or to appeals that we lodged where we thought it didn’t answer our original questions. You can find an update with new data here.
• We have included Uttlesford's original response at the council's request; this response was appealed and the council rejected this appeal. Their response included a 'total pot' of money for the 2007-08 financial year - in such cases we usually decide to omit the response, as we do not think it’s fair to attribute a remuneration package to an individual if the council will not do the same.
• Middlesbrough council did provide information for both years to the request, but the quality of the information for the 2008-09 financial year was not as precise as that for 2007-08; the council have since responded with more detailed information.
• Tameside's response in this update was their original response. Unfortunately the document we received had compatibility issues with our system when it arrived. The document did go in to some detail with the salary breakdown, although it did not provide names. We have appealed this and the result is still pending.