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Six-figure pay packet for 76 council staff

Sandwell | News | Published:

Cash strapped councils in the Black Country employed 76 workers on more than £100,000 each a year - with 15 staff raking in over £150,000, new figures have revealed.

The figures from the Taxpayers' Alliance show the bulging wage packets of high ranking council officials across the region during 2013/14.

Sandwell Council, which is struggling to make a minimum of £41 million worth of cuts over the next two years, had 23 staff on more than £100,000, with four earning over £150,000 and one boss on a staggering £208,000.

Meanwhile Wolverhampton council had 16 public servants on over £100,000 and four workers earning between £154,000 and £158,000, despite axing 2,000 jobs in its battle to save £134m by 2019.

Walsall Council had nine staff drawing £100,000 a year or more, with three earning over £150,000 including an executive director of children's services who pulled in £200,000.

At Dudley Council six workers earned more than £100,000 over the period, one of whom was on over £150,000.

The Taxpayers' Alliance say the figures raise serious doubts over the value for money for taxpayers.

Chief executive – John Polychronakis (no longer in post) – £161,000

Sandwell Council:

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Unknown – £208,000

Director of public health – Dr John Duncan Middleton (no longer in post)– £179,917

Chief executive – Jan Britton – £164,159

Unknown – £153,232

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Staffordshire County Council:

Chief executive – Nick Bell (no longer in post) – £231,718

Director of people and deputy chief executive – Eric Robinson (no longer in post) – £178,000

Director of finance and resources – Andrew Burns – £166,000

Director of place and deputy chief executive – Helen Riley – £165,000

Walsall Council:

Chief executive – Paul Sheehan – £201,297

Executive director children's services – unknown – £200,157

Executive director social care – unknown – £168,888

Wolverhampton council:

Chief executive – Simon Warren (no longer in post) – £188,462

Strategic director community – Sarah Norman (now at Dudley Council) – £157,175

Chief inspector for quality and improvement - Keith Martin – £156,464

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "Local authorities that are providing more for less and delivering council tax cuts clearly have talented people at the helm, but taxpayers living in poorly performing areas will be furious at the scale of some of these massive pay awards.

"After more than a decade of reckless spending and council tax hikes, local politicians now have to make necessary savings and the pay and perks for the town hall elite have to come under the spotlight.

"We all deserve to know how our money is being spent, and taxpayers should have the right to decide if they are getting value for their money from public servants."

Councillor Pete Lowe, leader of Dudley Council said: "We have some challenging years ahead of us, whilst remaining committed to achieving excellence and the very best for our borough residents.

"It is therefore essential that we attract the right people to ensure that residents remain protected and receive the quality of service, care and support that they deserve.

"Since 2014 we have achieved £1million savings through a senior management restructure and as a result we now have one of the leanest senior management structures of any comparable council in the country."

Nationally nearly 3,500 council employees received total pay of more than £100,000 in 2013/14.

The data has prompted Chancellor George Osborne and communities secretary Greg Clark to write to councils setting out tighter pay guidelines for senior public sector executives.

Mr Clark said: "Local taxpayers rightly expect their councils to make every pound go further and not spend on excessive payouts."

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