The TaxPayers' Alliance have released the fifth Town Hall Rich List, the 'Who's Who' of local government fat cats, detailing all those whose remuneration exceeds £100,000. Since the first Town Hall Rich List in 2007, the number of senior staff receiving such large sums has soared and the latest list shows that trend continuing. Executive pay in town halls across the UK has continued to be insulated from economic reality, despite the urgent need to find savings and many councils claiming they are being forced to cut services because they are getting less money from central government.

The Town Hall Rich List 2011 reveals the names, job titles and full remuneration of all local council employees earning over £100,000 for the financial year 2009-10. The full report can be read here and includes detailed breakdowns for each council.

Key findings:

  • There were 2,295 council employees receiving total remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2009-10, an increase of 18 per cent on the previous year’s 1,941. This may partly be explained by a rise in the number receiving significant redundancy payments.
  • 48 council employees received remuneration over £250,000 in 2009-10, up from 19 in 2008-09.
  • 506 council employees received remuneration between £150,000 and £249,999 in 2009-10, up from 408 in 2008-09.
  • The average total remuneration increase for staff in the Town Hall Rich list and in post for both full years from 2008-09 to 2009-10 was 3.8 per cent.
  • The councils with the most employees in receipt of remuneration over £100,000 in 2009-10 were Cornwall and Newcastle upon Tyne, both with 32 taking the crown from Kent in the previous year, who this year report 31.

Matthew Sinclair, Director, The TaxPayers' Alliance:

"Councils should be scouring every inch of their expenditure to identify savings, so taxpayers will be staggered that so many council employees are still getting such a generous deal.  Councils insist cuts can only mean pressure on frontline services but they clearly have money to spend when it comes to paying their own senior staff.

"It is crucial that some of these senior council executives set an example and ensure they have the moral authority to lead spending cuts by taking a pay cut themselves.  Households have seen their Council Tax bills double over the last decade and deserve better value. Proper transparency is an essential first step so that residents can decide for themselves if town hall bosses are delivering the results to justify pay at these sorts of levels."

Grant Shapps, Minister for Local Government, said:

“I welcome this report and the significant work behind it. Under Labour, pay and perks for town hall bosses went through the roof. Labour Ministers failed to ensure proper transparency and local accountability to keep it in check. Too many dodgy deals were struck behind closed doors, with pay inflation fuelled by head hunters on commission and by boomerang bosses going from council to council hiking their pay.

“The new Government is opening up the pay of middle and senior management to greater scrutiny, and will require any six-figure salaries to be approved – or vetoed – by elected councillors in the full public glare of the council chamber.

“Cutting down senior pay is one way that councils can save taxpayers' money. In these tough times of paying off Labour's deficit, town halls bosses should consider following Government Ministers and take a pay cut to lead by example."