Local government correspondent
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
The number of council officials who took home more than £100,000 a year in Suffolk increased last year – but the number of staff on high salaries is coming down, according to the authorities.
Figures from the Taxpayers’ Alliance published today show that the number of council staff across the country earning more than £100,000 a year fell to 2,181 in 2012/13 – a 5% drop on the previous year’s figure.
However, in Suffolk the number of those who took home more than £100,000 doubled in 2012/13, going up from 14 to 29 – but that masks the fact that several of the authorities had major re-organisations in that year, with several staff leaving with substantial redundancy payments.
In Ipswich, five left with big payouts, pushing the numbers on £100,000 or more up from one to six.
However the borough said the changes would save about £500,000 a year. It was a similar story in St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath where the number of staff taking home more than £100,000 went up from three to 10 between them.
The number of those taking home more than £100,000 at Suffolk County Council went up from seven to nine – but this masks the fact that in 2011/12 incoming chief executive Deborah Cadman arrived three-quarters of the way through the year.
In Essex the number of staff earning more than £100,000 a year did fall. The county council has the highest number of staff earning over that threshold in the East of England – a total of 30, down from 34 the previous year.
Colchester council has seen no change in the number of staff earning more than £100,000 – four – while Tendring District Council saw its number fall from nine to two – but again that is because it had undergone a reorganisation with several staff being paid redundancy money the previous year.
John O’Connell, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, welcomed the fact that the number of local authority employees earning more than £100,000 was falling – and said the organisation understood that some councils would see an increase in the number as a one-off during re-organisation.
He said: “It is very important that councils spend their money wisely, and if there are re-organisations aimed at improving efficiency and cutting costs then that is to be welcomed.
“We realise this may mean there are one-off costs and we would not argue with those.
“If a council like Ipswich is reorganising and finding £500,000 a year in savings we would welcome that change.”