Saturday, 11 May 2013

The North East’s largest council has come under fire for paying six-figure remuneration packages to 22 staff – more than the previous year, despite unprecedented budget cuts.

According to the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) Town Hall Rich List published on Friday, 22 Durham County Council (DCC) staff earned more than £100,000 in 2011-12 – an increase of five on the previous year.

The figure puts Durham, which faces cuts of nearly £220 million between 2010 and 2018, 12th in the councils ‘league table’ topped by Camden, which paid six-figure remuneration to 40 employees.

According to the survey 2,525 town hall staff across the UK are paid over £100,000 – and 103 councils employed more staff receiving over £100,000 than they did last year.

Some 636 staff received more than £150,000 and 42 more than £250,000.

The TPA says that the numbers are almost certainly an underestimate as the opacity of some councils’ accounts makes it impossible to separate teaching staff from council staff.

The highest paid across the UK was Katherine Kerswell, former group managing director of Kent County Council. Her total remuneration was £589,165, which included a sizeable redundancy package.

TPA chief executive Matthew Sinclair said: ‘Sadly, too many local authorities are still increasing the number of highly-paid staff on their payroll, some of whom are given hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation just to move from one public sector job to another.’

The total bill to taxpayers for Durham’s £100,000-plus earners is £2,955,102 a year.

The highest paid member of DCC is chief executive George Garlick, whose remuneration for 2011-12 was £226,477.

The biggest earner in the North East is Sunderland chief exec Dave Smith, who gets £240,445. 

Northumberland had 15 staff on six-figure remuneration packages.

It is the British National Party’s policy to cap all council salaries at £100,000 a year.

All the Durham County Council staff paid over £100,000 a year (Click to enlarge)

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