Councils pay top officers over £4m

First published in Didcot Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by

COUNCILS in Oxfordshire paid out more than £4m in salary packages for senior officers last year, new figures show.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance also revealed last night there were 32 council officers in Oxfordshire whose wages, pension contributions and expenses came to more than £100,000 each in 2010/11.

The total cost of directors at the county and district councils comes to £4,321,881, the alliance figures show.

It called for council executives to take a pay cut so they had the “moral authority” to make spending cuts.

However the figures did show the directors had not been awarded large pay rises.

Oxfordshire County Council spent a total of £2,834,080 paying 21 remuneration packages that were more than £100,000.

Chief executive Joanna Simons’ package was £217,640, including a £182,431 salary and £35,209 in pension contributions.

Spokesman Owen Morton said senior staff members had not received a pay rise since 2008. The council had reduced the number of senior managers by 40 per cent since 2010.

Oxford City Council chief executive Peter Sloman’s package was £168,280 – £140,000 in salary, fees and allowances and £28,280 in pension contributions.

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Three other senior executives also received more than £100,000.

Spokesman Louisa Dean said the council had saved more than £4m in the past year and this would not have been possible without attracting top staff.

West Oxfordshire District Council chief executive David Neudegg picked up a £101,691 salary in his total package of £145,744.

South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council share the cost of their top officers.

The councils’ chief executive David Buckle earned £129,092 in salary, plus £1,115 expenses and £21,300 pension contributions to total £151,507. The chief finance officer’s package was £123,213.

Councillor Matthew Barber said splitting the remunerations bill had saved money.

Cherwell District Council chief executive Sue Smith’s made her package of £112,420, from a £81,458 salary, £5,917 in fees, £6,310 in expenses and a pension of £18,691.

She was the only officer to receive more than £100,000 in the council, which shares costs with South Northamptonshire Council.

Commenting on the city’s packages, Ms Dean said the council could not have achieved recent savings “without attracting an able and dedicated top team.”

TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive Matthew Elliott said: “Taxpayers will be astonished so many council employees are still getting such a generous deal while everyone else in the public sector is facing a pay freeze.”

Comments (13)

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10:30am Wed 25 Apr 12

someguyfromhereandthere says...

In my opinion this is daylight robbery!
In my opinion this is daylight robbery! someguyfromhereandthere
  • Score: 0

11:03am Wed 25 Apr 12

A34North says...

Spokesman Louisa Dean said the council had saved more than £4m in the past year and this would not have been possible without attracting top staff.

Says who, you Louisa? That old fallacy is now well worn and so untrue in this day and age.
Spokesman Louisa Dean said the council had saved more than £4m in the past year and this would not have been possible without attracting top staff. Says who, you Louisa? That old fallacy is now well worn and so untrue in this day and age. A34North
  • Score: 0

12:00pm Wed 25 Apr 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

"Spokesman Owen Morton said senior staff members had not received a pay rise since 2008.".....
......When they're on that kind of money, they shouldn't get a pay rise until at least 2018.

Something that I'm struggling to believe, is that I agree with A34North, if the pay of the Top Executives was halved, and the jobs re-advertised there'd still be plenty of worthy applicants.

Too many corporations are claiming they have to pay huge salaries to get the right staff, that's utter trash, just because somebody is on a huge salary, and wants an even bigger one to switch jobs, it doesn't mean they're the best, it just means they're greedy, and their previous employers have been gullible.
What these councils have been paying though, is ridiculous, making pension contributions of 4 times what some people earn, is criminal.
"Spokesman Owen Morton said senior staff members had not received a pay rise since 2008."..... ......When they're on that kind of money, they shouldn't get a pay rise until at least 2018. Something that I'm struggling to believe, is that I agree with A34North, if the pay of the Top Executives was halved, and the jobs re-advertised there'd still be plenty of worthy applicants. Too many corporations are claiming they have to pay huge salaries to get the right staff, that's utter trash, just because somebody is on a huge salary, and wants an even bigger one to switch jobs, it doesn't mean they're the best, it just means they're greedy, and their previous employers have been gullible. What these councils have been paying though, is ridiculous, making pension contributions of 4 times what some people earn, is criminal. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Wed 25 Apr 12

wizardofox2 says...

When you consider how much a councillor gets rewarded in relation to "officers" then they are excellent value for money. Take Matthew Barber for instance, he's leader of the Tory run Vale D.C and gets under £20k a year for that, he's often behind his desk before the CEO David Buckle is and often there way after D.B leaves the building and after that he has all his party business to attend too to, On that basis the CEO (who more often than not is only carrying out instructions from council) on £150k represents pretty poor value for the tax payer.
When you consider how much a councillor gets rewarded in relation to "officers" then they are excellent value for money. Take Matthew Barber for instance, he's leader of the Tory run Vale D.C and gets under £20k a year for that, he's often behind his desk before the CEO David Buckle is and often there way after D.B leaves the building and after that he has all his party business to attend too to, On that basis the CEO (who more often than not is only carrying out instructions from council) on £150k represents pretty poor value for the tax payer. wizardofox2
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Wed 25 Apr 12

Inkpot says...

The biggest problem is that the councillors vote for their own pay packages thereby avoiding any need to consult with their constituents.
The biggest problem is that the councillors vote for their own pay packages thereby avoiding any need to consult with their constituents. Inkpot
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Wed 25 Apr 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Inkpot wrote:
The biggest problem is that the councillors vote for their own pay packages thereby avoiding any need to consult with their constituents.
Strange that, Politicians do the same....the tax payer pays their salaries, but has no say on how much they're entitled to, something smells....
[quote][p][bold]Inkpot[/bold] wrote: The biggest problem is that the councillors vote for their own pay packages thereby avoiding any need to consult with their constituents.[/p][/quote]Strange that, Politicians do the same....the tax payer pays their salaries, but has no say on how much they're entitled to, something smells.... Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Wed 25 Apr 12

aet123 says...

''Spokesman Louisa Dean said the council had saved more than £4m in the past year and this would not have been possible without attracting top staff.''

Now that would be funny if it wasn't so tragic. Trying telling that to the ordinary workers who have lost their jobs through cuts. Or the services that have been lost or privatised or cut. Never mind, so long as everyone important gets there 'going rate' in their salary each month!
''Spokesman Louisa Dean said the council had saved more than £4m in the past year and this would not have been possible without attracting top staff.'' Now that would be funny if it wasn't so tragic. Trying telling that to the ordinary workers who have lost their jobs through cuts. Or the services that have been lost or privatised or cut. Never mind, so long as everyone important gets there 'going rate' in their salary each month! aet123
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Wed 25 Apr 12

wizardofox2 says...

Yep aet its jobs for the boys and all that, and to rub salt into the wound 3 contractors spent most of today with hoe in hand trying to remove the moss from the block paving outside the Vales HQ, now wouldn't the community benefit from their efforts directed to the filthy roundabouts along the peripheral road?
Yep aet its jobs for the boys and all that, and to rub salt into the wound 3 contractors spent most of today with hoe in hand trying to remove the moss from the block paving outside the Vales HQ, now wouldn't the community benefit from their efforts directed to the filthy roundabouts along the peripheral road? wizardofox2
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Wed 25 Apr 12

L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG says...

This is the sort of story that Dr BOB fills his boots with, where is he when you need him?
This is the sort of story that Dr BOB fills his boots with, where is he when you need him? L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG
  • Score: 0

8:36am Thu 26 Apr 12

Iain L says...

Inkpot wrote:
The biggest problem is that the councillors vote for their own pay packages thereby avoiding any need to consult with their constituents.
Councillors don't get paid - they receive an allowance mainly focused at meeting out of pocket expenses and for senior posts offsetting lost income for time spent on council work.

For example as a town councillor I estimate I spend at least a day a week on council business, not to mention any out of pocket expenses. The annual allowance is a little under £800 pa.

This translates to £1.60 a day. I repeat my point from previous posts - councillors are not 'in it for the money', there are a huge number of easier ways of earning £1.60 a day!
[quote][p][bold]Inkpot[/bold] wrote: The biggest problem is that the councillors vote for their own pay packages thereby avoiding any need to consult with their constituents.[/p][/quote]Councillors don't get paid - they receive an allowance mainly focused at meeting out of pocket expenses and for senior posts offsetting lost income for time spent on council work. For example as a town councillor I estimate I spend at least a day a week on council business, not to mention any out of pocket expenses. The annual allowance is a little under £800 pa. This translates to £1.60 a day. I repeat my point from previous posts - councillors are not 'in it for the money', there are a huge number of easier ways of earning £1.60 a day! Iain L
  • Score: 0

9:26am Thu 26 Apr 12

Abberdon says...

Not hard to save 10m quid if you just cut, cut, cut jobs and services is it.
Not hard to save 10m quid if you just cut, cut, cut jobs and services is it. Abberdon
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 26 Apr 12

Jonjo01 says...

Councillors do not set their own allowances they are reviewed regularly by independent bodies and bands are then set. I for one think they are excellent value for money and applaud those authorities who are spreading the costs of employing senior officers across authorities as illustrated by Cllr Barber, good job Sir
Councillors do not set their own allowances they are reviewed regularly by independent bodies and bands are then set. I for one think they are excellent value for money and applaud those authorities who are spreading the costs of employing senior officers across authorities as illustrated by Cllr Barber, good job Sir Jonjo01
  • Score: 0

6:44am Fri 27 Apr 12

Dark-Warrior says...

All I can say is that when I worked at the Vale the senior management team cut out the car allowances for employees who in some cases were travelling up to 8000 miles per year. Also they cut petrol allowance when petrol was rocketing in price and stopped paying weekend work at time and a half. All these cuts were never aimed at affecting their pay. I never understood why those at the top making the decisions to cut someones pay who was earning £19000 couldn't have set an example and cut their own salaries by say 5K - 10K. I think most people would still get out of bed for £90000 - £140000
All I can say is that when I worked at the Vale the senior management team cut out the car allowances for employees who in some cases were travelling up to 8000 miles per year. Also they cut petrol allowance when petrol was rocketing in price and stopped paying weekend work at time and a half. All these cuts were never aimed at affecting their pay. I never understood why those at the top making the decisions to cut someones pay who was earning £19000 couldn't have set an example and cut their own salaries by say 5K - 10K. I think most people would still get out of bed for £90000 - £140000 Dark-Warrior
  • Score: 0

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