A report by the TaxPayers Alliance has revealed that the number of local authority employees receiving £100,000 or more in the 2017/18 tax year has risen to the highest level since 2013.
For Kent there are 24 employees receiving over £100,000, with former Folkestone and Hythe chief executive Alistair Stewart making the top 20 table with an eyewatering renumeration of £333,493 followed by a severance compensation package of £179,196.
Across the country In 2017-18 there were at least 2,441 council employees who received total remuneration in excess of £100,000.
For Thanet the TPA Town Hall Rich List data, which was published by The Isle of Thanet News last year, and can be seen in Thanet council’s statement of accounts, shows:
Chief Executive Madeline Homer received a salary of £133,771 plus ‘other’ of £5,000, pension contributions of £20,966 making a total of £159,737.
Former Director of Community Services Rob Kenyon, who took voluntary redundancy in October 2017, is listed as having had a salary of £80,401 plus a severance payment of £39,533, £2000 listed as other and pension payments of £7169 totalling £129,103.
The Director of East Kent Services Dominic Whelan received a salary of £106,670 plus £4,500 ‘other’ and £13,727 pension payments equalling £124,897.
Director of Corporate Resources Tim Willis received a salary of £98,245 plus £4,000 ‘cash benefits’ totalling £102,245 not including pension contributions of £15,156.
Director of Corporate Governance Tim Howes received £97,173 plus ‘cash benefits’ of 4,000 totalling £101,173 plus pension contributions of £15,156.
Director of Operational Services Gavin Waite received £90,648 plus ‘cash benefits’ of £4,000 totalling £94,648 plus pension contributions of £14,225.
The total top officers’ salary bill for 2017/18, excluding pension payments but including Mr Kenyon’s compensation, came to £558, 771.
Councillor allowances for the year came to £365,000.
Details of the 2018/19 expenditure are yet to be published but Thanet council posts its statement of accounts, with financial data, annually.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:“The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last twenty years and spending has gone through the roof. Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay. Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with staggering pay-outs for those leaving their jobs.
“There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”
There were 28 staff earning between £50,000 and £124,000 at the authority in 2017/18. Five of those staff left during the financial year.
There were 8 compulsory redundancies in the financial period across all staff at TDC with 7 other departures.
Some £339,000 was paid out in redundancy packages.
Thanet council employed 475 staff, full time and part time, when its draft accounts were completed in May last year.
This year there are at least seven job roles currently at risk in coastal/tourism and operational services areas, including the post of Thanet Coastal Warden officer Tony Child. The aim is to make £250,000 ‘efficiency’ savings.
A petition has been raised to ask Thanet council to retain Tony’s post.