The number of local authority employees earning over £100,000 has risen to the highest level since 2013-14.
The number of council staff with a six-figure pay and benefits package went up to 2,921 during 2020-21, with 739 getting more than £150,000, according to the annual Town Hall Rich List.
Westminster Council was found to be the local authority with the greatest number of employees whose pay and benefits package was in excess of £100,000 with 44 employees - nine more than the previous year.
What is the Town Hall Rich List?
As households across the country face council tax hikes, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has assembled a list of council employees in the UK receiving a salary and benefits package worth £100,000 or more in 2020-21.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance is a right-wing pressure group which campaigns for lower taxes, founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership.
“With households having suffered through the pandemic and now struggling under colossal tax bills, the country needs councils to prioritise key services without resorting to punishing tax hikes.”
He added: “These figures will allow residents to judge town hall bosses for themselves and hold their local councils to account.”
Who has been paid the most?
During the coronavirus pandemic, the number of council staff receiving pay and benefits packages of £100,000 or more had increased by 119 to at least 2,921 people - the most since 2013-14.
A total of 739 of these received over £150,000, 46 more than the previous year and the highest number since the TPA began releasing the Rich List.
The average number of council staff receiving over £150,000 is two employees per council.
Jo Negrini, the former chief executive of Croydon council, received the highest salary and benefits package of any council employee in the UK at a whopping £613,895 in 2020-21.
This is despite the council effectively declaring bankruptcy in November 2020.
Negrini left the council in September 2020, and received a loss of office payment of £144,356 and a pension strain payment of £292,851, on top of her salary and pension.
A total of 23 local authority employees received a loss of office payment of more than £95,000 in 2020-21 – two more than in 2019-2020.
In terms of salary alone, in Scotland, Glasgow City council’s chief executive, Annemarie O’Donnell was paid the most with a salary of £186,860.
In Wales, Deborah Driffield, the assistant director of children’s services of Cardiff council, was paid the most with a salary of £221,186.
In Northern Ireland, the chief executive of Belfast’s council, Suzanne Wylie, had the highest salary in 2020-21 of £142,500.
Meanwhile in England, Fran Beasley, the chief executive and corporate director of Hillingdon council in London, was in receipt of the highest salary at £259,211.
What are the UK’s highest paying councils?
Of the 10 local authorities with the most employees receiving over £100,000, eight of them were London councils.
The local authority with the greatest number of employees whose remuneration was in excess of £100,000 was Westminster Council with 44 employees - nine more than the previous year.
The local authority to pay out the highest amount in terms of bonuses and performance related pay to a senior employee was Hambleton District Council in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Their chief executive, Dr Justin Ives, received a £26,535 bonus.