Councils' top earners paid £5m in a year

Top earners at Cambridgeshire councils were paid a total of nearly £5 million in a single year, research reveals today.

The cash was shared between 36 staff at the county’s six local authorities who are paid more than £100,000 annually, according to the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Matthew Elliott, the campaign group’s chief executive, said residents would be astonished bosses were “still getting such a generous deal while everyone else in the public sector is facing a pay freeze”.

Cambridgeshire County Council paid chiefs the most during 2010/11, with 13 workers earning more than £100,000 sharing £1.7 million between them, including pension contributions.

Chief executive Mark Lloyd got £233,200, while several executive directors earned around £140,000. Mr Lloyd has since taken a 5 per cent pay cut, taking his basic salary to £186,167.

Four staff at Cambridge City Council earned more than £100,000, with the total at £459,400 and chief executive Antoinette Jackson leading the way on £134,399. At South Cambridgeshire, three staff shared £460,765.

Former chief executive Greg Harlock received £211,817 in total even though he retired in August 2010, because he got £103,387 on his departure.

In East Cambridgeshire, four staff shared £403,331. In Huntingdonshire, £813,447 was split between six top earners. And the £1 million bill in Fenland included a £299,148 lump sum paid to a retiring chief executive.

Mr Elliott said: “These council executives must ensure they have the moral authority to lead necessary spending cuts; in many cases that will mean taking a pay cut themselves.”

A South Cambridgeshire District Council spokesman said it was “vital to have the right people” to deliver services.

He added: “Taxpayers rightly expect us to deliver value for money and following a recent review of senior management, and a reduction of two posts, the council has already cut costs by £162,000 a year.”

A county council spokesman said the council had saved £11 million by sharing services with other authorities.

He said: “We are at the forefront nationally of reducing management and salary costs. Our chief executive has voluntarily reduced his pay and we have saved hundreds of thousands of pounds in reducing director and senior manager costs.”

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