459 Leicester City Council staff on £50,000-plus, claims TaxPayers Alliance
Research by the TaxPayers Alliance claims Leicester City Council increased the number of well paid officers it employed last year - despite budget cutbacks.
The pressure group has published a report on the number of official pay and perks packages of more then £50,000 in town halls across the country.
It says the city council employed 459 staff on more than £50,000 - the third highest of any council in the land behind Birmingham City Council (648) and Kent County Council (491).
The city council disputes the TaxPayers Alliance findings which it says do not take into account the fact it included teachers in the pay bracket where authorities did not.
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The Labour-run council has not so far said exactly how many of its staff are on more than £50,000 but has said severance packages to managers made redundant have distorted the true picture.
The TaxPayers Alliance (TPA) report goes on to show that in 2011/12 the authority employed 56 more people on £50,000-plus contracts than it had the year before.
It said their total remuneration was £29.1 million - a rise of £2.86 million on the previous year.
A city council finance spokesman said: “Unlike the figures published for most councils, our figures include teaching staff, and the position is distorted because it includes severance payments.
“Taking this into account, the numbers of staff earning more than £50,000 has not increased.
"From the senior grades represented in the tables, there were 16 redundancies in 2011/12.
“The redundancy payments are included in the salary costs.
“Over the last two years the council has reduced the size of its strategic management team and their salaries, and abolished the position of chief executive. The last two budgets have made substantial savings in management and administration.”
The TPA report says Conservative-led Leicestershire County Council reduced its £50,000 managers by 16 in 2011/12 to 135 cutting the total value of their packages by £1.1 million to £8.7 million.
According to the TPA most of the county’s district councils also reduced head counts in the £50,000 pay bracket.
Blaby District Council had one fewer such managers, saving £52,000. Charnwood Borough Council had eight fewer, saving £895,000.
Harborough District Council saved £852,000 through changes to its middle management and reducing numbers by one.
The TPA said Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council employed one more officer on £50,000 or more in 2011/12 but still cut its middle management costs by £607,500.
Oadby and Wigston Borough Council is reported to have employed four more officers increasing management pay by £230,000.
North West Leicestershire District Council cut its officers on £50,000-plus from 11 to seven saving £355,000 and Melton Borough Council kept four officers on £50,000-plus deals but still saved £157,000.
TaxPayers Alliance chief executive Matthew Sinclair said: “Taxpayers are still paying far too much for bloated bureaucracies that have been established in too many town halls over the last decade.
“It is incredible that some councils have even increased spending on high earning staff this year after a decade in which council tax doubled across the country and when every local authority needs to find savings and ease the burden. In those cases where it is the result of redundancy payments then we need to see the savings soon.”