Chiefs’ megabucks pay is defended by councils

Chiefs’ megabucks pay is defended by councils

Stuart Gallimore

Becky Shaw

Penny Thompson

First published in News by

Seventeen council bosses in Sussex have been paid more than the Prime Minister, the latest accounts reveal.

A further 43 bosses took home more than £100,000 in taxpayer-funded salaries while councils were forced to slash millions from their budgets.

West Sussex County Council was the local authority with the most high paid senior staff members, with 20 taking home more than £100,000.

Their top paid member of staff got £387,000, with eight more earning more than David Cameron at £142,500.

The figures, revealed by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, are for 2012/13, the most recent local authority accounts.

Among the top earners at West Sussex County Council included the then chief executive Kieran Stigant at £203,700, the then director of finance and assurance Richard Hornby at £152,986 and the director of health and social care at that time, Michael Sadler, who was paid £174,600.

A council spokeswoman said the figures were outdated but said 16 members of staff still received more than £100,000.

They include chief operating officer Gill Steward, executive director of communities and public protection Sean Ruth and executive director of residents’ services, Diane Ashby.

Councillor Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, said the findings were two years out of date.

She added that their two top payouts related to the retirement costs paid to two firefighters, which were not governed by the council.

She said the council had embarked on a “significant transformation programme” which would reduce their senior management team with savings of between £5 and £9 million.

“We’re confident that we offer value for money to our taxpayers. We’ve frozen council tax for the last four years and in a recent survey of our residents 62% said that they thought we offered value for money.

“The council is in effect a billion pound business with 800,000 customers. Managing that effectively requires excellent management and we’re confident that we’re offering our taxpayers value for money.”

The joint second highest councils in Sussex for staff earning more than £100,000 in 2012/13 were East Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council, both with six each.

One of the top earners at Brighton and Hove is the council’s chief executive, Penny Thomson, who takes home £150,000 – £7,500 more than David Cameron.

Sue Moorman, the council’s head of human resources and organisational development, defended the salaries.

She said: “We pay a fair market rate to attract the best candidates to roles. In many cases, similar roles in the private sector command a higher salary.

“We are committed to delivering the best value to council taxpayers.”

East Sussex County Council’s top earner in 2012/13 was chief executive Becky Shaw with £209,424, who remains at the local authority.

Among the other top earners are director of children’s services, Stuart Gallimore, and director of communities, economy and transport, Rupert Clubb.

A spokeswoman for East Sussex said the high salaries ensured they got the best people for the jobs.

She said: “They are responsible for helping to manage more than 15,000 staff and a gross budget including schools of £800m, which is spent on providing vital services to the people of East Sussex.

“It is crucial that senior managers have the skills, experience and knowledge to do their jobs well. To attract the best and brightest people you have to pay a competitive wage.”

Comments (19)

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6:52am Wed 6 Aug 14

Plantpot says...

£200k isn't megabucks in the world of business, the only downside being that you are required to perform and can be offed at the drop of a hat.

It's certainly a lot less than many soccer players earn, and they don't have to perform or win anything. I wonder why the socialists aren't demonstrating about that?

Stories like this fail to take into account the benefits in kind received by the PM - official residences, and pretty much everything paid for. The real package is worth way more than just the salary.
£200k isn't megabucks in the world of business, the only downside being that you are required to perform and can be offed at the drop of a hat. It's certainly a lot less than many soccer players earn, and they don't have to perform or win anything. I wonder why the socialists aren't demonstrating about that? Stories like this fail to take into account the benefits in kind received by the PM - official residences, and pretty much everything paid for. The real package is worth way more than just the salary. Plantpot
  • Score: 10

6:59am Wed 6 Aug 14

Grumpy0ldman says...

Plantpot wrote:
£200k isn't megabucks in the world of business, the only downside being that you are required to perform and can be offed at the drop of a hat.

It's certainly a lot less than many soccer players earn, and they don't have to perform or win anything. I wonder why the socialists aren't demonstrating about that?

Stories like this fail to take into account the benefits in kind received by the PM - official residences, and pretty much everything paid for. The real package is worth way more than just the salary.
Written by a very high earner no doubt
[quote][p][bold]Plantpot[/bold] wrote: £200k isn't megabucks in the world of business, the only downside being that you are required to perform and can be offed at the drop of a hat. It's certainly a lot less than many soccer players earn, and they don't have to perform or win anything. I wonder why the socialists aren't demonstrating about that? Stories like this fail to take into account the benefits in kind received by the PM - official residences, and pretty much everything paid for. The real package is worth way more than just the salary.[/p][/quote]Written by a very high earner no doubt Grumpy0ldman
  • Score: 2

7:22am Wed 6 Aug 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

As other posters have said, the salaries are not mega bucks for the size and responsibilities of the organisations they head.
As for Prime Ministers, the freebies which come with the job run into the millions, the book deals, the TV deals, the after dinner speeches, the free homes, free endorsements, the ensuing jobs for life.
Socialist Tony Blair is a multi millionaire and his children have benefitted through his connections and name. Now that's one way to pay off your student loan.
Some how I don't think any of the children of these people get to be soccer agents in Brazil just because dad was once a chief exec of some local council.
As other posters have said, the salaries are not mega bucks for the size and responsibilities of the organisations they head. As for Prime Ministers, the freebies which come with the job run into the millions, the book deals, the TV deals, the after dinner speeches, the free homes, free endorsements, the ensuing jobs for life. Socialist Tony Blair is a multi millionaire and his children have benefitted through his connections and name. Now that's one way to pay off your student loan. Some how I don't think any of the children of these people get to be soccer agents in Brazil just because dad was once a chief exec of some local council. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 8

8:38am Wed 6 Aug 14

HJarrs says...

Totally disingenuous comparison. We might just as we'll compare all high earners, public and private with the PM. Most in the Ftse100 are paid multimillion salaries, they are not running a country!

I worry that the position of PM is undermined by relative low pay that encourages favours that will be repaid once leaving office.
Totally disingenuous comparison. We might just as we'll compare all high earners, public and private with the PM. Most in the Ftse100 are paid multimillion salaries, they are not running a country! I worry that the position of PM is undermined by relative low pay that encourages favours that will be repaid once leaving office. HJarrs
  • Score: -27

9:06am Wed 6 Aug 14

whatone says...

"To attract the best and brightest people you have to pay a competitive wage.”

The problem is, that 'competitive wage' is one based on other similar posts, not general employment.

Thus the spiral of higher wages is a 'closed shop' and is not 'competitive' at all.

Add to the salary the generous golden 'hello's and goodbyes' and the fact that even in failure they usually just slip into another cushy number elsewhere.

Hence we have ended up with a system of overpaid self-remunerated 'managers' who are often average at best!
"To attract the best and brightest people you have to pay a competitive wage.” The problem is, that 'competitive wage' is one based on other similar posts, not general employment. Thus the spiral of higher wages is a 'closed shop' and is not 'competitive' at all. Add to the salary the generous golden 'hello's and goodbyes' and the fact that even in failure they usually just slip into another cushy number elsewhere. Hence we have ended up with a system of overpaid self-remunerated 'managers' who are often average at best! whatone
  • Score: 5

9:39am Wed 6 Aug 14

Plantpot says...

whatone wrote:
"To attract the best and brightest people you have to pay a competitive wage.”

The problem is, that 'competitive wage' is one based on other similar posts, not general employment.

Thus the spiral of higher wages is a 'closed shop' and is not 'competitive' at all.

Add to the salary the generous golden 'hello's and goodbyes' and the fact that even in failure they usually just slip into another cushy number elsewhere.

Hence we have ended up with a system of overpaid self-remunerated 'managers' who are often average at best!
You are free to apply for any of these jobs. Whether you are qualified to win the post is a different mater.
[quote][p][bold]whatone[/bold] wrote: "To attract the best and brightest people you have to pay a competitive wage.” The problem is, that 'competitive wage' is one based on other similar posts, not general employment. Thus the spiral of higher wages is a 'closed shop' and is not 'competitive' at all. Add to the salary the generous golden 'hello's and goodbyes' and the fact that even in failure they usually just slip into another cushy number elsewhere. Hence we have ended up with a system of overpaid self-remunerated 'managers' who are often average at best![/p][/quote]You are free to apply for any of these jobs. Whether you are qualified to win the post is a different mater. Plantpot
  • Score: -10

10:56am Wed 6 Aug 14

roughsea says...

The best people, what a joke. It's greed, nothing more.
The best people, what a joke. It's greed, nothing more. roughsea
  • Score: 14

11:01am Wed 6 Aug 14

Lady Smith says...

So what? Most of them do a better job than Cameron and his cronies - especially given that they're having to deal with budget cuts imposed because of ConDem cuts to local government funding. 'Megabucks' indeed...I thought I was reading the 'Daily Mail' then.
So what? Most of them do a better job than Cameron and his cronies - especially given that they're having to deal with budget cuts imposed because of ConDem cuts to local government funding. 'Megabucks' indeed...I thought I was reading the 'Daily Mail' then. Lady Smith
  • Score: -11

11:19am Wed 6 Aug 14

Mrbrightside1 says...

Lady Smith wrote:
So what? Most of them do a better job than Cameron and his cronies - especially given that they're having to deal with budget cuts imposed because of ConDem cuts to local government funding. 'Megabucks' indeed...I thought I was reading the 'Daily Mail' then.
Penny Thompson does a good job????? Do me a favour!

I have no issue with people earning mega salaries, if they deserve them, if they don't perform, then replace them.

Penny Thompson is useless, and worth about 10% of what she earns!
[quote][p][bold]Lady Smith[/bold] wrote: So what? Most of them do a better job than Cameron and his cronies - especially given that they're having to deal with budget cuts imposed because of ConDem cuts to local government funding. 'Megabucks' indeed...I thought I was reading the 'Daily Mail' then.[/p][/quote]Penny Thompson does a good job????? Do me a favour! I have no issue with people earning mega salaries, if they deserve them, if they don't perform, then replace them. Penny Thompson is useless, and worth about 10% of what she earns! Mrbrightside1
  • Score: 11

11:49am Wed 6 Aug 14

Btn4all says...

If salaries are set to attract the best and essentially the skillset being to manage a budget then why has the chief executive of brighton not been sacked??
By her own admission she cannot manage the needs based on the budget - ?
If salaries are set to attract the best and essentially the skillset being to manage a budget then why has the chief executive of brighton not been sacked?? By her own admission she cannot manage the needs based on the budget - ? Btn4all
  • Score: 8

11:52am Wed 6 Aug 14

fredflintstone1 says...

Mrbrightside1 wrote:
Lady Smith wrote:
So what? Most of them do a better job than Cameron and his cronies - especially given that they're having to deal with budget cuts imposed because of ConDem cuts to local government funding. 'Megabucks' indeed...I thought I was reading the 'Daily Mail' then.
Penny Thompson does a good job????? Do me a favour!

I have no issue with people earning mega salaries, if they deserve them, if they don't perform, then replace them.

Penny Thompson is useless, and worth about 10% of what she earns!
You could add Geoff Raw, in charge of rubbish collections. How that man is still in his job remains a mystery to me as I walk around the city's streets. Perhaps there was some confusion about the use of the term 'rubbish' in his job description?
[quote][p][bold]Mrbrightside1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lady Smith[/bold] wrote: So what? Most of them do a better job than Cameron and his cronies - especially given that they're having to deal with budget cuts imposed because of ConDem cuts to local government funding. 'Megabucks' indeed...I thought I was reading the 'Daily Mail' then.[/p][/quote]Penny Thompson does a good job????? Do me a favour! I have no issue with people earning mega salaries, if they deserve them, if they don't perform, then replace them. Penny Thompson is useless, and worth about 10% of what she earns![/p][/quote]You could add Geoff Raw, in charge of rubbish collections. How that man is still in his job remains a mystery to me as I walk around the city's streets. Perhaps there was some confusion about the use of the term 'rubbish' in his job description? fredflintstone1
  • Score: 9

12:11pm Wed 6 Aug 14

whatone says...

Plantpot wrote:
whatone wrote:
"To attract the best and brightest people you have to pay a competitive wage.”

The problem is, that 'competitive wage' is one based on other similar posts, not general employment.

Thus the spiral of higher wages is a 'closed shop' and is not 'competitive' at all.

Add to the salary the generous golden 'hello's and goodbyes' and the fact that even in failure they usually just slip into another cushy number elsewhere.

Hence we have ended up with a system of overpaid self-remunerated 'managers' who are often average at best!
You are free to apply for any of these jobs. Whether you are qualified to win the post is a different mater.
I work in a sector where the income is not guaranteed unlike those who can sit back and watch taxpayers cash roll in regardless, so I'm probably over qualified in effective money management!

However I'm not in that particular 'old boys network', so no point applying is there ;-)
[quote][p][bold]Plantpot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]whatone[/bold] wrote: "To attract the best and brightest people you have to pay a competitive wage.” The problem is, that 'competitive wage' is one based on other similar posts, not general employment. Thus the spiral of higher wages is a 'closed shop' and is not 'competitive' at all. Add to the salary the generous golden 'hello's and goodbyes' and the fact that even in failure they usually just slip into another cushy number elsewhere. Hence we have ended up with a system of overpaid self-remunerated 'managers' who are often average at best![/p][/quote]You are free to apply for any of these jobs. Whether you are qualified to win the post is a different mater.[/p][/quote]I work in a sector where the income is not guaranteed unlike those who can sit back and watch taxpayers cash roll in regardless, so I'm probably over qualified in effective money management! However I'm not in that particular 'old boys network', so no point applying is there ;-) whatone
  • Score: 1

12:49pm Wed 6 Aug 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

So when are the voted in councillors going to have a meeting to reduce councillors salaries in order to save money they haven't got to spend?

I think it is more important that the elderly have their care provided that they need, rather than councillors be paid an amount that is higher than that actually needed to live on.
So when are the voted in councillors going to have a meeting to reduce councillors salaries in order to save money they haven't got to spend? I think it is more important that the elderly have their care provided that they need, rather than councillors be paid an amount that is higher than that actually needed to live on. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 7

1:02pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Fairfax Aches says...

Who decides these pay rates? Some HR bureaucrat no doubt, never spent a day of her life in the real world.
Who decides these pay rates? Some HR bureaucrat no doubt, never spent a day of her life in the real world. Fairfax Aches
  • Score: 5

1:49pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Fight_Back says...

getThisCoalitionOut wrote:
So when are the voted in councillors going to have a meeting to reduce councillors salaries in order to save money they haven't got to spend?

I think it is more important that the elderly have their care provided that they need, rather than councillors be paid an amount that is higher than that actually needed to live on.
A small but significant point - councillors do not get a salary. Indeed, they get relatively small allowances that would be impossible for most people to live on. Carry on your incorrect rant though.
[quote][p][bold]getThisCoalitionOut[/bold] wrote: So when are the voted in councillors going to have a meeting to reduce councillors salaries in order to save money they haven't got to spend? I think it is more important that the elderly have their care provided that they need, rather than councillors be paid an amount that is higher than that actually needed to live on.[/p][/quote]A small but significant point - councillors do not get a salary. Indeed, they get relatively small allowances that would be impossible for most people to live on. Carry on your incorrect rant though. Fight_Back
  • Score: 5

2:13pm Wed 6 Aug 14

s&k says...

It might also be worth noting how many public sector staff are paid below the average wage.
It might also be worth noting how many public sector staff are paid below the average wage. s&k
  • Score: 7

5:01pm Wed 6 Aug 14

vogon1 says...

Overpaid, unacheiving, out of touch, gravy train passengers, the lot of them
Overpaid, unacheiving, out of touch, gravy train passengers, the lot of them vogon1
  • Score: 8

5:30pm Wed 6 Aug 14

stevensavage says...

vogon1 wrote:
Overpaid, unacheiving, out of touch, gravy train passengers, the lot of them
i agree with you.
[quote][p][bold]vogon1[/bold] wrote: Overpaid, unacheiving, out of touch, gravy train passengers, the lot of them[/p][/quote]i agree with you. stevensavage
  • Score: 3

6:30pm Wed 6 Aug 14

76robmac says...

Not surprised
Not surprised 76robmac
  • Score: -1

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