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Who’s who in Town Hall Rich List (but Birmingham hardly gets a mention)

Who’s who in Town Hall Rich List (but Birmingham hardly gets a mention)

🕔05.Aug 2014

The 2014 Taxpayers’ Alliance annual survey of local government salaries has been published.

And for once, Birmingham city council rates hardly a single critical mention in what the TPA likes to call ‘The Town Hall Rich List’.

The number of officials in Birmingham paid more than £100,000 a year, which for some reason the TPA regards as an indicator of utter profligacy, fell from 25 to 20 between 2011-12 and 2012-2013 thanks to a rigorous reorganisation of senior management structures.

Birmingham’s former chief executive, Stephen Hughes, who retired at the end of February 2014, was paid a basic salary of £205,000 during his final year. When pension contributions are taken into account, Mr Hughes’s total remuneration package was £237,000.

That was significantly down on the previous year, 2011-12, when a performance-related bonus took Mr Hughes’s total package to £260,000.

Birmingham city council’s new chief executive, Mark Rogers, has a basic salary of £180,000, which places him a long way from the top of the league for Britain’s best paid council bosses.

The highest paid council official not in receipt of one-off payments due to redundancy in 2012-13 was Paul Martin, chief executive of Wandsworth council, who received £274,224.

The chief executives of Haringey, Norfolk, West Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Bradford, Essex, Kensington & Chelsea, and Hampshire all received basic pay in excess of £200,000.

With 20 officials in receipt of salaries over £100,000, Birmingham city council does not even top the West Midlands league for generosity. That title goes to Staffordshire county council where 28 employees are in the £100,000-plus wage bracket.

A glance at the list of Birmingham’s top-earning officials during 2012-13 shows just how much the shape of the council has changed since then. Most of those on the list are no longer in the city.

A radical shake-up of senior management imposed by Labour leader Sir Albert Bore following his return to power in 2012 saw five directorates reduced to three and a steady exit of the highest paid officers.

Mr Hughes took early retirement. Children’s strategic director Peter Duxbury left his £163,000 job by mutual agreement. Mark Barrow, strategic director for development, left his £154,000 post, as did the strategic director for neighbourhoods Elaine Elkington, whose salary was £143,000.

Others in the £100,000-plus bracket also left or took retirement as the council pushed ahead with a voluntary redundancy programme to reduce wage costs and meet Government grant cuts.

Birmingham city council has shed 7,000 jobs since 2010, getting rid of about 35 per cent of the core workforce. Wage costs are down by about £25 million compared with this time last year.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance habit of lumping together basic salary and redundancy packages to give a total remuneration figure resulted in some hefty payments for several local government figures who decided to take early retirement.

The eighth highest remuneration package in the country went to Hitesh Patel who received £256,000 after his post of director of transformation and strategic projects at Swindon council was abolished. The figure includes a redundancy payment.

The council employee with the largest remuneration package in the UK in 2012-13 was David Crawford, the Executive Director of Social Care Services at Glasgow Council who received £486,303. That total included a considerable redundancy package.

The largest remuneration package of all, excluding one-off redundancy payments, went to the manager of a Scottish bus company, according to TPA.  One I. Craig, managing director of Lothian Buses, a subsidiary 91 per cent owned by the City of Edinburgh Council, received £300,081.




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