The Daily Telegraph has a new survey on Town Hall. It finds that in 2008/09 there were 1,700 staff earning over £100,000 in the 229 councils they surveyed. That figure of 1,700 is 23% higher than a year ago.
Their survey also found that 50,928 staff earned more than £50,000.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says:
“There is widespread public concern about soaring salaries in local government, with chief executives moving from council to council like football managers.
“The Audit Commission has warned that these exorbitant pay deals haven't been matched by improvements in performance. The new Government will take action to tackle town hall chiefs pay.
“We will require councils to publish more information online on the pay and perks of senior staff, and allow elected councillors to veto high pay packets.”
In the private sector many businessman on that scale of income have seen their pay go down over that period due to the recession. There has been lots of talk from the Local Government Association about how Town Halls have been showing restraint but these figures show that to be untrue. I don't think we should too caught up about a Chief Executive for a Council being paid £120,000 rather than £90,000 – he or she might, or might not, be worth the money. The point is numbers of staff in that pay bracket. A very few, very highly paid managers might make sense – but nota great batch of them. Often Councils have too many departments – each headed by someone on a six figure salary. The answer is probably to have fewer departments.