Sunderland City Council’s top earners revealed as ‘Town Hall rich list’ is published

The top Sunderland City Council earners who take home a salary of more than £100,000 are today revealed.

Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 7:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 7:34 am
The Taxpayers' Alliance has published figures of the top earning officers at council's across the country.

Figures for the financial year spanning 2017/18 show nine executive officers for the authority were paid more than that threshold.

Its best salaried worker was former chief exve Irene Lucas, who was given £179,231 during that 12-month stretch, with no pension payment.

Irene Lucas CBE, the former chief executive of Sunderland City Council.

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Ms Lucas CBE joined the authority on an interim basis in 2016 and has since been replaced by Patrick Melia, who was appointed to the post in June last year.

Other figures from the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) show that during the same period, its executive director of people’s services was given a salary of £131,300 and a pension of £23,371, with its executive director of corporate services given £131,300 and a pension payment of £22,923.

Executive director of economy and place was given a remuneration of £110,763 and a pension of £19,716, its executive director of children’s services £109,417 with a pension of £19,47693 and its director of strategy, partnerships and transformation got £101,269 and a pension of £18,026.

Three others, which had job titles undisclosed, were given £122,500, £117,500 and £102,500.

The council has not said who was in those roles at that time when asked, with only Ms Lucas’s name made publicly available through the TPA and council documents.

A spokesman said: “The TaxPayers’ Alliance has forgotten to mention that the city council continues to deliver crucial services, including services to thousands of vulnerable adults and children, and is delivering investment and job creation.

“These hundreds of services involves major social and legal responsibilities.

“Therefore senior salaries, including pensions and benefits, can reflect this.”

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TPA, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 during the last 20 years and spending has gone through the roof. Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with staggering pay-outs for those leaving their jobs.

“There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”

The council’s executive list can be found via the transparency section of