SEVERAL of Wirral Council’s chief officers have made it into the latest TaxPayers’ Alliance Town Hall Rich List.
The list published this week claims the number of executives on the local authority’s payroll pulling salaries above £100,000 increased from nine to 11 in the year 2012 to 2013 - although this number has been dismissed as incorrect by the council.
The alliance says executive pay in many town halls across the UK “continues to be insulated from economic reality, despite the urgent need to find savings and the fact that many councils claim that they have insufficient cash to fund frontline services, and enforce pay freezes on their rank and file staff.”
Jonathan Isaby, alliance chief executive, said: “It is good news that the number of senior council staff making more than £100,000 a year is falling, although that may only be because many authorities have finished paying eye-watering redundancy bills.
“Sadly, too many local authorities are still increasing the number of highly-paid staff on their payroll. It’s particularly galling in places where councils are pleading poverty and demanding more and more in council tax.
“Taxpayers expect their council to be filling potholes, not pay packets.
“Many rank-and-file staff in local councils will be equally appalled.
“At a time when councils across the country are freezing pay, it appears the money they’re saving is being used to line the pockets of town hall tycoons.”
Graham Burgess, chief executive of Wirral Council, said: ‘Once again, the figures supplied by the Taxpayers Alliance are unreliable.
“We have seven posts above that figure which, given the scale of the council’s budget and workforce, is by no means excessive; last year, a senior management restructure resulted in savings to the authority of £799,811."
Key findings of the research are: There were at least 2,181 council employees in the UK who received total pay of more than £100,000 in 2012-13, down five per cent on the previous year’s 2,295. These six-figure packages cost nearly £300m in 2012-13.
Knowsley Council more than doubled the number of staff who received more than £100,000, the biggest increase of any authority.