Lincolnshire councils’ top earners revealed

Lincolnshire County Council has more than double the national average of employees earning in excess of £100,000.

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The figures are included in a report by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, an organisation campaigning to reform taxes and cut waste in public services for taxpayers.

The Alliance has published its 14th annual Town Hall Rich List.

It has assembled a comprehensive list of council employees in the UK in receipt of over £100,000 in salary, bonuses, compensation and pension.

It calls on all local authorities to stop council tax rises and cut down on wasteful spending at a time when residents are suffering job losses, pay freezes and reduction due to furlough during the coronavirus crisis.

The average number of employees who received over £100,000 in total remuneration per local authority is seven.

But Lincolnshire County Council tops the East Midlands region having 16 employees paid in excess of £100,000 in 2019-20.

That included Chief Executive Deborah Barnes taking a total of £179,042, including a £25,226 pension contribution.

Estimates suggest it would take around 130 Council Tax payments from average-rated Band D households council tax payments to fund that one annual wage packet.

The figure would also pay for seven new teachers with salaries starting at £25,714.

The average salary of a nurse is £25,578.

Lincolnshire’s chief fire officer/assistant director for fire and emergency earned £164,790.

Four executive directors on the county council were all earning over £150,000, while the rest ranged in sums from £137,492 to £102,500.

The figures reveal that at district council level, East Lindsey had three employees receiving packages worth more than £100,000 and West Lindsey two.

East Lindsey Chief Executive Rob Barlow received a salary of £112,016 in addition to a pension worth £18,595, an annual total of £130,611.

His deputy received a salary of £92,276 in addition to a £15,318 pension, an annual total of £107,594.

It should be noted Mr Barlow also heads Boston Borough Council following a link up between the two authorities.

The third individual at East Lindsey is an assistant director (development) who received a total of £126,520 although that figure included a compensation payment of almost £69,000 for ‘loss of office.’

West Lindsey’s chief executive Ian Knowles earned a total package worth £129,209 and an Executive Director £120,768.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “At the onset of the coronavirus crisis, thousands of town hall officials were taking home huge sums.

“While councils were plunged into tackling the pandemic, many staff will have more than earned their keep, but households have nevertheless struggled with enormous and unpopular council tax rises.

“These figures shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, and will enable residents to hold those who aren’t delivering value for money to account.”

Ms Barnes, chief executive at Lincolnshire County Council, argued: “The county council has a relatively small senior management team for an organisation our size, and the number of managers has been significantly reduced over the last decade.

“With one of the lowest council tax rates in the country, we are confident that our residents get good value for money.

“Local councils play a vital role in our communities.

“Over the last year our senior managers have overseen services that protect our most vulnerable residents, managing hundreds of staff and multi-million pound budgets in the most challenging of times.

“To attract and retain people with the necessary skills and experience to do this,

The biggest remuneration package in the East Midlands region was received by Bolsover’s joint chief executive - £268,554, while at Essex County Council more than 40 staff were on over £100,000 that year.

Council Tax payers in Lincolnshire have seen the County Council increase its share by £26.52, a rise of 1.99 per cent to £1,364.16, the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner figure going up £14.94, a 5.9 per cent increase to 266.31, plus smaller increases at district and town/parish council levels.

Some town and parish councils opted not to increase their precepts - because of difficulties caused by the lockdown..

Against this background, the Alliance says the number of UK local authority employees receiving over £100,000 in total remuneration has risen by 135 to the highest level since 2013-14 - 2,802 by the onset of the Covid pandemic.

While councils were plunged into tackling the pandemic, households have faced council tax rises, leading taxpayers to question whether their council’s leadership have delivered good value for money.

The Alliance says new polling shows the overwhelming majority oppose increases by a 4-to-1 margin.

Six in 10 people say councils should freeze or cut top salaries to help keep bills down.