Council says senior staff earning their salaries as TaxPayers Alliance publishes 'Town Hall Rich List'

Council bosses in Sunderland say their senior officer's are earning their salaries.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 12:01 am

The TaxPayers’ Alliance annual ‘Town Hall Rich List’ shows that six senior officers are all earning over £100,000 a year in their roles

But a spokeswoman for Sunderland City Council said their salaries represent the responsibilities which go with their jobs.

She said: “Sunderland City Council is responsible for delivering hundreds of services to almost 278,000 residents, including crucial services to thousands of vulnerable adults and children and delivering ambitious social and economic regeneration plans for the city.

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“This involves major social and legal responsibilities which can be reflected in senior salaries, including pensions and benefits.”

The figures show that the council’s chief executive is paid £186,471 a year, with the executive director of city development earning a salary of £147,113.

The executive director of corporate services, executive director of neighbourhoods and executive director of children's services all have a salary of £136,605 a year.

The council’s director of people, communications & partnerships earns £105,361 a year.

The six are among 95 senior council officials in the region to be earning over £100,000 a year.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance says the 14th version of its annual list comes at a time when – for the average band D property – taxpayers in England will have to pay a council tax rise of 4.4 per cent - an extra £81 a year in 2021/22.

A spokesman said: “Against this background, the number of local authority employees receiving over £100,000 in total remuneration has risen to the highest level since 2013-14.”

Other key findings in the report are that least 2,802 people employed by local authorities in 2019-20 received more than £100,000 in total remuneration – an increase of 135 on 2018-19 and 693 received over £150,000, 26 more than the previous year.The average number of ‘six figure’ employees in each local authority is seven.

Nationally, 31 local authority employees received remuneration in excess of a quarter of a million pounds in 2019-20 - one fewer than the previous year.

Total expenses paid to senior employees in the UK amounted to £1,274,497.