New figures reveal nine Gloucestershire County Council employees have received pay packages in excess of £100,000.
The latest ‘Town Hall Rich List’, compiled by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, follows calls from the pressure group for council tax to be frozen and funds to be focused on frontline health and social care services amid the coronavirus crisis.
However, the list has been branded “inane and distasteful” by the members’ network Solace, which represents chief executives in local government across the UK.
Data published by the Taxpayers’ Alliance reveals the highest paid employee at Gloucestershire County Council in 2018-19 received a salary of £140,010 – £58,100 more than the salary of an MP.
Gloucestershire County Council did not disclose the full name of the council worker.
According to the figures, eight other employees at Gloucestershire County Council also received six figure salaries in 2018-19
Nationally, 2,667 people employed by local authorities received more than £100,000, an increase of 226 compared to 2017-18 and the highest number since 2013-14.
It meant the average number of employees receiving the sum rose to 6.9 per local authority, up by one compared to the previous year.
A total of 32 local authority employees received remuneration in excess of a quarter of a million pounds in 2018-19 – four more than in 2017-18.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said household budgets are being squeezed further through “crushing council tax rises.”
He added: “The coronavirus crisis means that frontline council services are more crucial than ever.
“There are plenty of talented people in local authorities who are focused on delivering more for less, but that is needed across the board. The country needs every council to cut out waste and prioritise key services without resorting to punishing tax hikes on their residents.
“These figures should shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, but also allow taxpayers to hold to account those who aren’t delivering value for money at this critical time.”
Solace managing director Graeme McDonald said the TPA’s ‘rich list’ is “as innumerate as it is crass.”
“In recent weeks many council staff have been working all waking hours responding to the Covid-19 outbreak – they require our support and backing,” he said.
“At any time, council chief executives and their colleagues are responsible for delivering a variety of highly complex services. It is crucial councils have good quality people to deliver good quality public services.”