Magazine article Public Finance

Local Authority Leaders Publish Top Pay Figures

Magazine article Public Finance

Local Authority Leaders Publish Top Pay Figures

Article excerpt

Council leaders have responded to the growing political pressure about their salary levels by publishing figures to demonstrate they are paid less than their private sector counterparts.

According to research by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers, released this week, the average county council chief executive earns £169,271, while someone responsible for running a company of similar size could command up to £7.818m.

The salaries of heads of unitary councils in England and Wales average £135,481, while pay in private sector companies with similar numbers of employees ranged from £277,000 to £1.564m, the study found.

The research follows an announcement by local government minister John Healey last week that the government intends to legislate to force councils to publish details of senior executives' remuneration.

'Recently, we've seen senior council salaries spiralling and some councils changing their top managers like premiership football clubs, sometimes with big payoffs for failure. This can't go on,' Healey said. The minister added that the level of disclosure required from councils should be brought into line with that required from senior executives in central government.

'That's why I'm going to legislate so that councils make public what top earners get in pay, bonuses, pensions and any special perks,' he said. …

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