Wellingborough Council Doubles Its £50k-plus Earners

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THE number of Wellingborough Council managers earning more than £50,000 has nearly doubled in a year.

The figures, revealed by campaigning group the Taxpayers’ Alliance, show that 13 members of staff earned salaries in this higher wage bracket for the financial year 2010-2011, compared to just seven in 2009-2010.

The cost to taxpayers was an estimated £832,500 – up from £562,500 the previous year.

The increase in the amount spent on management salaries comes at a time when many workers in the private sector have had to take a pay cut to help their companies ride the recession, and other public sector staff have been hit by a pay freeze.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “It is disappointing to see so many middle managers at Midlands councils, particularly at a time when public sector pay is being restrained and low paid staff are being laid off.

“It’s not fair to demand that ordinary workers take a pay freeze or lose their jobs while more and more middle managers are enjoying generous remuneration.

“Councils need to cut back the bloated bureaucracies that have developed in town halls in recent years.”

The payment statistics were calculated to include bonuses, but exclude pension contributions.

Wellingborough Council said the rise in its total salary payouts was due to redundancies.

The report, compiled using data taken directly from the authority’s annual statements, said: “The total number of employees falling within the various bands is affected by termination or redundancy payments made to certain employees.”

But the number of redundancy packages was not disclosed, so it is unclear how much of the £832,500 goes towards existing managers’ salaries.

Figures for Northamptonshire County Council showed a fall in the number of managers earning more than £50,000 but the authority still employed 118 in the year 2010-2011, with an estimated cost of £7.9 million.

East Northamptonshire paid out an estimated £677,500 to nine managers.

The revelations come just weeks after the same lobbying group uncovered figures showing that councils in Northamptonshire were paying millions of pounds to suspended staff.

One employee for the county council was suspended for 277 working days on full pay – more than a working year.

They had an annual salary of £14,500 and were paid a total of £16,735 while off work. They were re-employed at the end of the period.

The total cost of payments to suspended staff at the council between September 2010 and December 2011 was £158,758.

The reason given for suspension was “gross misconduct.”

Source – http://www.northampton-news-hp.co.uk/News/Wellingborough-and-Rushden-News/Council-doubles-up-on-its-50k-plus-earners-18012012.htm

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